SD governor says strategies working to curb coronavirus

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - Gov. Kristi Noem says the state’s strategies to combat COVID-19 are working as the number of positive cases creeps up to 46.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, with state Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon, talks with news media Thursday in Pierre. (KOTA TV)

“We do have a couple of communities that have community spread but thanks to the work that everyone has already done, we’ve been able to prepare,” the governor said.

“I do think that the plan that we put forward as a state is working," Noem said. "We are slowing down the spread of the virus so that we can handle it; and we have the capacity to take care of people."

The backlog in processing virus test kids is finally being cleared. Thursday, there were just 125 pending cases. Noem believes the state can get that pending number to “zero.”

Of the 46 people who were infected, one died (a Pennington County man who was diagnosed in Davison County) and 16 have fully recovered. Another 1,973 people tested negative.

Beadle and Minnehaha counties continue to be the epicenters for the coronavirus. The level of community transmission or impact of the virus is “substantial” in both counties. Four other counties (Hughes, Lyman, McCook and Lincoln) have moderate impact.

Only two West River counties, Meade and Lyman, have COVID-19 cases. The Meade County virus victim is a Monument Health caregiver who works at the Cancer Care Institute in Rapid City.

See related story Monument caregiver with COVID-19 came in contact with 100 plus

The caregiver, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, may have had contact with 100 patients, ten caregivers and two physicians. The South Dakota Department of Health has been calling all of the potential contacts with the caregiver who tested positive and will continue following up with the potential contacts.

People seeking information on COVID-19 should make sure it comes from verifiable, accurate sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the South Dakota Department of Health.

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