COVID-19: Your questions answered


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — President Donald Trump announced Friday that he is declaring the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency. There are now more than 1,629 cases and nearly 41 deaths from Coronavirus in the United States.

In South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem has also signed a state of emergency order. The number of confirmed cases in South Dakota remains at 9 as of noon on Sunday. Health officials say there are 327 negative cases, with six cases still pending. 

Public health officials have been promoting being prepared and not panicked. To help with that, we are answering some common questions.


Does South Dakota have coronavirus?

Yes, as of Sunday afternoon, there are confirmed cases. The South Dakota Department of Health releases information each day. The latest number will be in the chart below:

Am I at a higher risk for COVID-19?

Much of COVID-19 is unknown, but early information from China shows there is a certain population who are at higher risk of developing very serious symptoms from COVID-19.

Those populations include older adults (65+) and people with serious medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Anyone, however, can carry the virus and spread to those susceptible populations. Transmission of the virus is also considered to be very easy.

What about my kids or pregnant women?

The CDC said there isn’t enough scientific published information, but “pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19.”

Children, including the very young, appear to handle the virus well. A majority of cases confirmed have been in adults. This, of course, could change as more data becomes available.

Should I be panicking?

No. In fact, there is research that stress can weaken an immune system. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, due to COVID-19 stress, you may need to seek help:

  • Fear and worry about your own health status and that of your loved ones who may have been exposed to COVID-19
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

The CDC says people with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms.

If you aren’t diagnosed with a mental health condition, call your health care provider if stress reactions interfere with your daily activities for several days in a row.

Some other things you can do for your mental health:

  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories. Try to do other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
  • Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.

I have a cough or fever, what should I do?

  1. Stay home (except to get medical care)
  2. Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  3. Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  4. Wear a face mask (only, if you are sick or caring for someone who is sick)
  5. Cover your coughs and sneezes
  6. Clean your hands often
  7. Avoid sharing personal household items
  8. Clean all “high-touch” surfaces daily
  9. Monitor symptoms daily (we’ll explore this more below)
  10. Stay in home isolation until the risk of transmission is low

More details can be found on this page from the CDC.

Monitor your symptoms

This information comes directly from the CDC

  • Seek medical attention: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing).
  • Call your doctor: Before seeking care, call your health care provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19.
  • Wear a face mask when sick: Put on a face mask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the health care provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.
  • Alert health department: Ask your health care provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.

Should I get tested?

That will be up to your health care provider. Limited tests are available.

South Dakota’s guidelines for getting tested require several things to be hit, according to the Department of Health.

How to I keep myself and others safe?

Keep reading

Your Guide To

KELOLAND News is covering the COVID-19 pandemic. This is your guide to everything you need to know to prepare. We also have the latest stories from across the globe feeding into this page.


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Your Guide To

KELOLAND News is covering the Coronavirus outbreak. We have created a guide to everything you need to know to prepare. We also have the latest stories from across the globe feeding into this page.