SD unemployment claims rise alongside COVID-19 cases

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota unemployment claims sharply rise as businesses around the state reel the impacts of COVID-19.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 1,703 new claims last week – an increase of 1,500 claims from the week before.

During a Thursday press conference, Governor Kristi Noem said the state continues to see a similar number of unemployment claims every day this week. She expects “big, huge numbers next week.”

“People are signing up for unemployment because literally our economic activity has dropped to almost nothing,” said Noem.

As “veto day” comes around on Monday, Noem says the state’s budget will be readdressed given the state’s change in revenue. Legislators are planning to meet remotely.

Also rising in South Dakota are the state’s coronavirus cases. There are 46 cases in the state, six are new – one in Beadle County, one in Lincoln County, one in Lyman, and three in Minnehaha.

There are 1,973 tests that have come back negative – a sharp rise over the state’s reported numbers Wednesday due to the inclusion of results from private laboratories. 125 tests are still pending at the state Public Health Laboratory. Three more patients have recovered from the virus, bringing the total to 16.

Earlier this week, an inmate from the Women’s Prison in Pierre tested positive for COVID-19 the same day nine inmates escaped. Of the women who have been returned to custody, all have tested negative.

The state continues to process tests at the Public Health Laboratory and Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the state’s supply of equipment will last several weeks.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News