BEADLE COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) – Health officials have confirmed more than 100 new positive cases, 19 of which are in Beadle County. That puts the county at 98 positive cases. A majority of them are active.
When COVID-19 first hit South Dakota, Beadle County was the first to see a significant amount of cases. The numbers then remained flat for 40 days. But now the county is seeing a significant jump in positive cases, going from 43 on Tuesday to 98 today.
“We’ve had some people who traveled out of town and I think brought the Coronavirus back to Huron. They went to visit relatives, and unfortunately, I believe contacted the disease and brought it back and went to work. That has started the spread at least in one place,” Huron mayor Paul Aylward said.
The Jack Links plant in Alpena now has 40 positive cases. Mayor Paul Aylward says that’s where some of Huron’s cases are from. During a Beadle County COVID-19 Task Force briefing today, a representative for Dakota Provisions in Huron said there were also nine positive cases from that plant.
“It’s unfortunate, but we knew that we would probably get a spike, but it is a lot bigger spike than we thought we would get. So, we’re doing all the necessary things. Companies where some of the people have come from are doing a good job of testing people and also checking their people at work,” Aylward said.
Aylward wants to remind everyone of the importance of following the social distancing guidelines and practicing good hygiene.
“I know this is a bad weekend to tell people to stay at home, but truly, that’s the best way to stop the spread is to stay at home. Keep social distancing when you have to go to work or when you go out and buy groceries. Take as least time as you can to be exposed. I think that’s how we were so successful at keeping those numbers down and we got to go back to that and be vigilant,” Aylward said.
Aylward says he believes the county is seeing an increase in positive cases because of more testing being done. He says they plan to test 450 people in high-risk communities next week.
The Task Force is also asking for volunteers to assist its call center next week.