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First Hydroxychloroquine clinical trial to fight COVID-19 to be in South Dakota

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Sioux Falls, SD (KTIV) -- Governor Kristi Noem announced that South Dakota will be the first state with a comprehensive, statewide clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating and preventing COVID-19. This effort is in conjunction with Sanford Health.

In a statement from the governor, she said, “From day one, I’ve said we’re going to let the science, facts, and data drive our decision-making in South Dakota. Throughout last week, I communicated with White House officials to let them know that South Dakota’s medical community was ready to step up and lead the way on research efforts. I made direct requests to President Trump and Vice President Pence to supply us with enough hydroxychloroquine so that it could be made available for every hospitalized person the state may have as well as for those healthcare workers on the frontlines and those in the most vulnerable populations."

"Today, I’m pleased to report we have received the initial doses we need, and thanks to the leadership of Sanford Health and the assistance of the medical teams at Avera and Monument Health, we’re going to be the first state in the nation to do a comprehensive clinical trial to assess whether hydroxychloroquine can treat and perhaps even prevent COVID-19."

Noem said she wanted to thank the Sanford Health team for bringing their expertise and innovation to the table to help drive new and better treatments for this virus. She said the state's health care leaders have worked with her administration throughout this fight, and she's proud of their willingness to respond to this unprecedented challenge by leading the national research efforts.

“The healthcare community in South Dakota consistently works together with the state for the benefit of all our patients. I am excited patients across the state will have access to this drug, and we will learn more about its benefits in treating and even preventing COVID-19," said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, South Dakota’s Secretary of Health.

Sanford Health will be aided by Avera and Monument Health. Combined, they will treat up to 100,000 people including outpatient and hospitalized patients with COVID-19, in addition to frontline healthcare workers, and high-risk individuals who have been exposed to the virus. 

To learn more about South Dakota’s fight against COVID-19, visit

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Angela Rogers

Assistant News Director

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