Last updated on March 26 at 6 p.m. EDT.
South Dakota has 46 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the state's health department. An additional 1,973 tests have come back negative for the virus, and at least 125 tests are pending results. At least 16 patients have recovered from the virus.
The state has so far seen one death from COVID-19. The patient was a man in his 60s from Pennington County who had underlying health conditions, KELO reported March 10.
Cases by county:
- Beadle: 14
- Bon Homme: 1
- Brown: 2
- Brookings: 1
- Charles Mix: 1
- Codington: 1
- Davison: 2
- Hughes: 1
- Lincoln: 2
- Lyman: 1
- McCook: 2
- Meade: 1
- Minnehaha: 16
- Pennington: 1
On March 23, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order restricting gatherings of 10 or more people in restaurants, businesses and municipalities.
She also asked hospitals to postpone elective surgeries and other procedures to limit the spread of the virus — and to free up resources for COVID-19 patients.
Enforcement of Noem's executive order will be left up to individual cities and counties, the Associated Press (AP) reported on March 23. "While governors around the country have issued orders for sweeping shutdowns ... the South Dakota constitution does not grant the governor wide-ranging emergency powers," the AP report states.
Shortage of testing supplies
On Wednesday (March 18), South Dakota's public health lab temporarily halted all COVID-19 testing due to a shortage of supplies, the AP reported. "The lab had to stop this week after running out of supplies both from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and private suppliers," the AP report states.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said on Tuesday (March 17) that two of the state's largest healthcare providers, Sanford and Avera, are working to make more tests available and expand testing to commercial labs. And on Thursday (March 19), Noem announced that the state had obtained more supplies and would resume testing.
Noem declared a state of emergency in South Dakota on March 13 and issued an executive order requiring nonessential personnel of the office of state government to work remotely.
All South Dakota public schools will be closed through March 20, according to local TV station KOTA. South Dakota State University has also extended its spring break through March 20. Classes are currently scheduled to resume March 23.
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