First@4: 17 total deaths in SD; SF Mayor TenHaken follows governor’s lead in reopening Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Here’s a quick look at today’s top stories:

The death toll from COVID-19 increased again in South Dakota Thursday, according to the latest update from the state department of health.

Total deaths are now at 17. There was two male deaths and two female deaths reported. One death was a woman age 40-49, one man 70-79 and one man and one woman older than age 80. All the deaths are reported in Minnehaha County.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem held a press conference moments ago. She says she anticipates activities in the next couple of days at the Smithfield Foods plant.

Noem says she spoke with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Smithfield management on Thursday about reopening the plant in Sioux Falls, which has been closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

As of Thursday, the state Department of Health was reporting 853 cases in Smithfield employees and 245 cases in their close contacts. Those numbers have been consistent since Tuesday.

The mayor of Sioux Falls is following Governor Kristi Noem’s lead in reopening. Mayor TenHaken is opening parks, athletic fields and says Sioux Falls and Harrisburg school districts will be reopening their playground facilities.

He continued by saying restaurants and bars can either expand to 10 patrons or 50% occupancy. In addition to that, he asks to continue to practice social distancing in these facilities.

Therefore, the mayor says seating areas must be in six feet chunks. May 8, is the earliest this ordinance could go into place.

The One Sioux Falls Fund announced a new milestone on Thursday. The fund has helped more than 2,200 families and individuals remain housed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The One Sioux Falls Fund was established on March 17 to help residents in the Sioux Falls area, including Minnehaha, Lincoln, McCook and Turner counties. With the help of the fund, residents have been able to avoid evictions if they have been unable to work due to COVID-19 and if they are unable to qualify for federal or state assistance.

Find out more information on the One Sioux Falls Fund in this story online right now.

From the KELOLAND Capitol News Bureau in Pierre: The Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in western South Dakota reportedly has its first case of the coronavirus.

The case wasn’t reflected in the state Department of Health statistics that were released at mid-day Thursday, however. Data are updated daily and list county of residence for each infected person.

You can find the full report from Capitol News Bureau Reporter Bob Mercer online right now.

StarMark Cabinetry has reopened after a two week closure following ‘a handful’ of confirmed COVID-19 cases at the facility. KELOLAND News talked with a spokesperson with MasterBrand Cabinets, the parent company of StarMark.

The company made a lot of changes especially in the Sioux Falls division, to help prevent any continued spread. As the Sioux Falls division opens again, the company is continuing keep their focus on their employees.

The full statements can be found in this story online right now.

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