South Dakota coronavirus cases exceed 1,100
PIERRE, S.D. – Coronavirus cases in South Dakota exceed 1,100 with 180 new cases reported Wednesday morning.
Statewide, South Dakota has reported 1,168 total cases of COVID-19. All of the 180 cases reported are East River with 166 cases tied to Minnehaha County. This update brings the Sioux Falls area to 934 total cases.
Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said in a press briefing Wednesday morning a majority of cases in that area are tied to Smithfield Foods. Of the 166 new cases in Minnehaha County, 80 of them are tied to Smithfield Foods, bringing the total number of employees who have tested positive at the pork plant to 518. Related to those employees, a total of 126 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19.
Gov. Kristi Noem took to Twitter Wednesday morning to defend her reasoning for not issuing a shelter-in-place order, a move that has drawn criticisms from across the country. In a series of tweets, Noem says a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be arriving in Sioux Falls Wednesday “to help assess the situation on the ground.”
We trusted South Dakotans to exercise personal responsibility to keep themselves and their loved-ones healthy. They’ve stepped up to the challenge.
But some folks in the national press are improperly conflating that decision with the situation at Smithfield. (1/4)
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) April 15, 2020
Malsam-Rysdon identified one of Wednesday’s new cases as an inmate at the Jameson Annex to the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. She says the individual was detained by Sioux Falls Police on Saturday and was then isolated. The inmate was brought to the penitentiary for an assessment and was identified as someone who had come in contact with someone who had tested positive.
New recoveries are also reported in Minnehaha County, bringing the area total to 179. Statewide, 329 people have recovered from the virus, up 68 from Tuesday.
There are no new COVID-19 cases reported West River. In Pennington County, a sixth person has reportedly recovered since data was released Tuesday.
A total of 8,691 tests have been returned as negative, up 383 from Tuesday. Malsam-Rysdon says the state’s capacity to run tests is “several thousand” but supply issues limit the number of tests processed to several hundred.
There are no tests pending at the state Public Health Laboratory.