Noem asks South Dakotans to 'take a step back,' focus on positives

Gov. Kristi Noem

Gov. Kristi Noem's Wednesday coronavirus briefing brought a different tone, asking South Dakotans to remain calm amid the outbreak while avoiding any technical discussion about the virus.

"I want to speak to all of you, not as my bosses, but as my neighbors," Noem said. "I want to ask each and everyone of you to pause, to take a step back."

Noem asked people to look for the positives and reflect on the good things we have.

"My hope is that despite the situation, we all find a way to allow this to help bring us all together," Noem said. "To remind us of what is truly important life. To remind us of three things - faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love."

Noem also shared stories of the impact the coronavirus has on people, including a cashier who told one of her staffers she was "scared," as well as one of her own staffers who passed out from dehydration during a meeting.

The governor began the briefing by saying she's going to do things "a bit differently" today. Noem said she has delivered briefings for several weeks, providing updates about the spread of COVID-19 in South Dakota, and the state's decision in reacting to it.

"I want you to understand we are doing our best. And our best is very good," Noem said. "This is not an ancient plague. We have the knowledge and the resources of modern medicine, that will give us the tools to defeat this."

Noem ended the five-minute speech without answering any questions. A staffer told reporters immediately before the briefing the governor would not be taking questions today.

Immediately following the briefing, the South Dakota Department of Health released new numbers on COVID-19, stating there have been 11 new confirmed cases in the state.


Gov. Kristi Noem is set to speak Wednesday morning about efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in South Dakota.

Dakota News Now will carry the briefing live at 11:15 a.m. You can watch it online at our Facebook page.