Governor Kristi Noem has signed an executive order in South Dakota, based on community spread of COVID-19 in three counties. Those counties are Beadle, Lyman, and Hughes County. Noem also confirmed the case in Hughes County is an inmate at the women’s prison.
In a news conference on Monday afternoon, she said the executive order gives business owners, hospitals, city leaders, and citizens guidelines on what to do. However, it stops short of mandating any business shutdowns. That is still up to individual communities. Statewide, on Monday, Noem said there are seven new cases of the virus. That’s in addition to seven Noem announced on Sunday.
This brings the total number of positive cases in the state to 28. 762 tests have come back negative, and 265 tests are pending. Along with signing an executive order, Noem is also reminding you not to let your guard down.
She urged people to continue staying out of public places and away from each other, because COVID-19 isn’t just a two-week problem.
“We project we will continue to see dramatic increases in infections for the next eight weeks,” Noem said.
Noem says the Department of Health has been looking at data and science to track the virus’s effects on the state.
“Our models suggest that up to 30-percent of our population could get sick. That is literally tens of thousands of people in our state,” Noem said.
The goal remains the same, to flatten the curve of infections. South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the state is working with area hospitals and clinics on their surge capacities.
“That means how would they deal with an uptick in numbers. Hospitals do have that planning. We work very closely with them to ensure that that planning is ready to go, and we have as much surge capacity as we might need,” Malsam-Rysdon said.
Though state leaders don’t want you to panic, as we face another possible two months of this — or more — Noem says now is the time for precaution.
“We need everyone to stay calm and be patient and to make sure they’re making good decisions for them, for their families and for their neighbors,” Noem said.