Noem: “Back to normal” plan to be announced Tuesday for South Dakota


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem says that she will be announcing a “Back to normal” plan for the state on Tuesday.

Noem says the state will share new data Tuesday to help explain why it is unveiling a “Back to normal” plan.

In prior news conferences, Noem has said the COVID-19 peak in the state will be in mid-June.

Noem said Monday her plan and any modeling is based on new modeling data-driven by science, facts and data.

The governor says as people return to regular activities, the virus will spread. She says the state is focused on hospitalization rate. As of Monday, 61 people are in the hospital.

Noem says she will provide guidance Tuesday about elective surgeries resuming. But she says all medical and dental offices should plan to have their own PPE. The state does not plan to provide it.

She says she has spoken with the state’s mayors Monday and she expects to give them additional guidance in the next few days.

Noem says she’s hopeful Smithfield Foods will be producing a plan this week to reopen. The state will have “widespread testing” to keep Smithfield safe, Noem said.

Noem says the state is hopeful the Smithfield Foods plant will open as soon as possible, keeping safety in mind for employees.

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says she expects the DOH would work with Smithfield even after the plant reopens. She says there have been conversations with the union that represents employees so that is another avenue for conversations with workers.

The governor says she’s hoping for some flexibility in how the state can use money from the federal government.

Noem says South Dakota is fiscally responsible and much of the state budget comes from sales tax revenue, which is down because people stayed home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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