Noem says South Dakotans need to stay the course with social distancing


PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem began Wednesday’s briefing by saying she has been talking with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue about what can be done for South Dakota.

Noem says she set up a medical review committee that is going through the president’s plan from the White House called ‘Opening Up America Again’. She says they’re looking at those guidelines and how they’ll be approached in the state, medically.

The governor says she knows everyone is wanting to get back to normal. She says the state has a “phased approach” to do so. It is driven by data, information the state already has, and the science “we now know about this virus to make decisions,” Noem says.

Noem says social distancing needs to continue across the state. She added that peak infection rate for South Dakota is still mid-June.

Noem says South Dakota’s testing rate is high because of the Smithfield cases. In regards to testing in the state, she says South Dakota is 18th highest per capita in the nation. Noem says the state has the second-highest testing rate per capita in the region.

Noem says the state is in a better spot than it was two weeks ago when it comes to available tests, but the state still doesn’t have enough.

The governor says there are 15,000 people in the state who have downloaded the Care19 app, a tracking app for mobile devices that the state is using in COVID-19 response planning.

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