PIERRE — South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem held a press conference Monday morning from her office, where she announced the results of the latest 29 cases of CONVID-19 virus tested Sunday.
Noem said those 29 cases revealed seven new positive cases in the state, two of which are from Beadle County. Three of the cases are currently hospitalized, although it was unknown if hospitalization occurred prior to or after testing.
When asked whether the two new cases in Beadle County constituted “community spread” in the county, Noem responded, “Yes, we believe that it does.” Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon, who was also part of the press conference, nodded in agreement.
Before taking reporters’ questions, Noem discussed the new cases from the weekend testing and the emphasis on a long-term view in the state.
“This is not just a two-week problem,” the governor stated.
Noem discussed current projections that have been run through the South Dakota Department of Health, which project that up to 30 percent of the state will be infected with the COVID-19 virus in the state at some point. She also stated that projections show the virus may not reach its peak spread in mid-May to early-June.
The governor discussed the state’s unemployment situation extensively in the press conference, indicating that 185 new claims were submitted last week in the state and that the state’s Department of Labor and Regulation has seen a significant increase in calls.
To that end, the state has added 16 new staff in the department and dedicated 92 phone lines for callers who are concerned about unemployment. There are 23 lines still being installed that are expected to go live in the next week or so as well, she added.
Gov. Noem stated that many of the calls received were from first-time applicants. These persons are looking for information on the process of applying for benefits, whether they are eligible, and the length of time that they could receive benefits if they are unemployed for weeks or months to come.
Governor Noem continually had one statement throughout the press conference for all South Dakotans. She repeated, “Personal responsibility is incredibly important at this time.”