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Gov. Noem: Seven more COVID-19 cases confirmed in South Dakota

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PIERRE, S.D. (KTIV) -- "We're in for the long haul." That's the message Monday from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

The governor and state health officials gave an update on the COVID-19 coronavirus Monday morning, which focused on South Dakota's effort to slow down the rate of infection.

South Dakota has confirmed seven additional cases of COVID-19 since Sunday bringing the state's total to 28. In addition, health officials have confirmed Beadle County has community spread. Beadle County currently has 12 cases of COVID-19, the most of any county in the state.

During the update, Gov. Noem said COVID-19 numbers will soon go much higher.

She says current models suggest up to 30% of South Dakotans could eventually contract COVID-19.

Noem reiterated the figures from health care officials who say 80% of those who do get COVID-19, will have no symptoms or very few and mild symptoms. but Noem says it is going to be a long process.

"I just want to remind the public that this is not something that will be over in a week or two, that we project that we will continue to see dramatic increases in infections for the next 8 weeks and work to continue to proactively take care of people and know that this is something that South Dakota does best," said Gov. Noem.

The governor says projections are that COVID-19 may not hit its peak in South Dakota until May or June.

In an executive order Noem asked businesses, specifically retailers where the public would gather, to suspend or modify business practices-- as recommended by CDC guidance-- that involve ten or more people. And, in places where the suggested six-feet or separation isn't possible.

She says local and county governments should also follow the same directions for places where the public might gather.

Noem also encouraged restaurants and bars to offer takeout, delivery, drive-through, and curb-side service that don't involve public gatherings in an enclosed space. But, the governor said state law is not clear on the emergency powers she has, and her ability to enforce her executive order.


PIERRE, S.D. (KTIV) -- South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem will hold a COVID-19 news conference starting at 9 am Monday.

You can watch the news conference below or on KTIV's Facebook Page:

SD Gov. Kristi Noem Gives COVID-19 Update

SD Gov. Kristi Noem Gives COVID-19 Update. You can find extended coverage here:

Posted by KTIV News 4 on Monday, March 23, 2020

Keith W. Bliven

KTIV News Director

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