Saloon No. 10 owner speaks out about Dept. of Health's handling of COVID-19 publicity

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DEADWOOD, S.D. (KOTA/KEVN-TV)- The owner of Saloon #10 in Deadwood is responding to Monday's news from the state Department of Health, about two employees who tested positive for COVID-19. The saloon closed 10 days ago.

The health department said anyone who visited the Saloon between March 18th and 21st may have been exposed and should self-monitor for symptoms. The bar closed on March 21st.

Owner Louie LaLonde questions why their business was singled out by the health department.
"Out of 108 positive cases and rising, in South Dakota, the Saloon No. 10 is the only private, non-medical business to be specified to the media by the Department of Health," she says in an e-mail Tuesday night.

She says it's caused unnecessary additional hardship for her employees and families and that they're being discriminated against in their daily lives and harassed online.

Lalonde says if the media notification from the Department of Health was out of concern for public health, then the public needs to know where all the other positive cases work, and where they've been while contagious.

She says the two employees are feeling better and are on their way to a full recovery. According to Lalonde, the entire staff of more than 100 people have been in self quarantine to date and instructed to stay in quarantine through April 4th.