Noem: Five cases of coronavirus in South Dakota
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says five people in the state have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Noem made the announcement via a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Of those five one people has died, but Noem says that person - a man in his 60s from Pennington County - had underlying medical issues, and that it is unclear right now if the virus led directly to the person's death.
Noem also says all five had recently traveled outside of South Dakota. Noem says she was informed of the cases early Tuesday afternoon.
Of the other cases we know they involve two men in their 40s and one female in her 30s. The four remaining coronvirus patients live in Beadle, Charles Mix, Davison and Minnehaha County.
Earlier Tuesday, Dakota News Now had confirmed two people in the state of South Dakota have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
One of the patients is a resident of Mitchell. She tells Dakota News Now her test results came back Tuesday afternoon, confirming the virus. The patient says she traveled on a plane last week. The patient reported doctors told her she was the second case in the state. That patient also lives in Mitchell. That patient also traveled by plane recently but is not related to the first patient and has no connections to her.
The test results still need to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control, but the CDC says "presumptive positive" cases are treated as if they are confirmed cases.
The state of South Dakota has set up a
with more information about the coronavirus. Officials have also set up an information hotline at 800-997-2800.
Governor Kristi Noem will hold a news conference at 4:30 p.m. to address the situation.
In a statement, she said “The state’s Public Health Laboratory in Pierre has confirmed the first presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in South Dakota,” said Noem. “The cases are travel related. While we wait for the CDC to conduct their confirmatory testing, the Department of Health staff is working to identify additional people who came in close contact with these individuals to decrease the spread of illness.”
“Our team has been preparing for weeks, and I am confident we have the right people in place to address this fluid situation. Without panicking, I encourage all South Dakotans to take this seriously – now is the time to prepare and to stay informed.”