Three new COVID-19 cases in SD, two report recent travel

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota COVID-19 cases are up to 14 after the state Public Health Laboratory began running samples Thursday, following a two day halt.

The three new cases, all in Beadle County, include two male and one female patient. The ages of the patients range from 30 to 49 and 60 to 69. This brings the total of Beadle County COVID-19 cases to four.

According to Governor Kristi Noem, two of the three cases are reporting recent travel and being in contact with another person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says an investigation continues to determine if the third case is due to travel or community spread. This is the first case the question of community spread has come about.

Noem says none of the new patients are being hospitalized at this time.

As of Thursday afternoon, 663 tests have come back negative and 270 tests are still pending. There have yet to be positive coronavirus results West River. The only patient in SD to die of COVID-19, was connected to Pennington County as a legal resident but was not in the county in the two weeks prior to his death.

The updated number of positive cases comes after the state’s lab received necessary supplies to continue testing samples. The process was halted Monday after the lab ran out of reagents and enzymes needed to complete the tests.

Malsam-Rysdon says the state has the capacity to continue running tests for several days. Noem says the state is expecting another shipment of supplies in the next day or two.

Tests are being administered to patients showing symptoms of the coronavirus. People who come into contact with other high risk people, such as health care professionals, are receiving priority in getting results. Tests that are not deemed high priority are being sent out to commercial labs outside of the South Dakota for testing. Malsam-Rysdon says the average return time for those test results is about four to five days.

In Thursday’s press conference, Noem also announced an extension to her executive order allowing state employees to continue tele-working through March 30.

Given there is no confirmed cases of community spread, Noem says she has no plans to close bars or restaurants in the state.

As South Dakotans continue to adapt to changing work conditions and disruptions in their home life, Noem is asking people who are not considered “vulnerable” to COVID-19 to show up for families who continue to work but need childcare.

Noem applauded the 123 of 149 South Dakota schools that have been able to provide meals to children while the campuses remain shuttered.

NewsCenter1 continues to follow this developing story.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News