PIERRE — South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced that schools in the state will remain closed until May 1, in her daily press briefing Tuesday morning, as she discussed the latest statewide updates on COVID-19 and share directives from her office.
In her updates on COVID-19, she mentioned that two new positive cases were confirmed in the state.
Later in the briefing, during reporter questions, she confirmed that one case was from Beadle County and one was from Brookings County. The two positive cases bring the state’s total positive cases to 30. Beadle County has now registered 13 positive cases.
Gov. Noem introduced two new directives from her office. The first is an executive order that she stated that she had signed earlier Tuesday morning, stipulating that state workers who can do so continue to work from home until May 2.
Noem also revealed the directive that she had sent to all public schools that they continue doing distance education and refrain from opening their buildings to regular school activities until at least May 1.
The governor spoke very highly of the efforts of all schools in the state in this time to develop programs that could work for every student, mentioning that many students had been receiving individualized plans from their teachers tailored to each individual student.
She reviewed COVID-19 information in more depth with reporters, stating that two additional cases had recovered in the state, which brings the number of recovered cases in the case to eight of the 30 positive tests. There remain two positive COVID-19 test patients hospitalized at this time.
The governor did express that detailed reports like the ones previously given on each new case would likely not be possible in the very near future, and that total cases could very possibly go up significantly in the next week or two.
This is due in part to getting supplies at the state laboratory as well as the opening of two private laboratories to do in-state testing, which will allow S.D. tests to be priority in those labs, whereas they are often not priority in private labs out-of-state that have been utilized.
Noem and Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon both addressed questions regarding the inmate at the Women’s Prison who tested positive. The inmate was in the same unit as the nine women who escaped from work release on Monday evening. One of those inmates has been captured in Pennington County, while the other eight remain at large at this time.
In a related note, one state lawmaker has been airlifted to a hospital in Sioux Falls on Monday after he became infected. Rep. Bob Glanzer, a Huron Republican, is one of the 13 people who have tested positive in Beadle County.