South Dakota State Medical Association urges stronger response to COVID-19

Published: Mar. 26, 2020 at 5:52 PM CDT
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A major medical group is pushing the state of South Dakota to take further action in the fight against the coronavirus.

In a public letter issued Thursday, the South Dakota State Medical Association "strongly urges" Gov. Kristi Noem to take stronger steps in the interest of keeping the public safe and to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The organization urged Noem to do the following:

* Order closure of nonessential businesses in South Dakota to prevent community spread.

* Suspend all nonessential elective surgeries as well as procedures, and prohibit payment for these surgeries and procedures, to prevent spread and to conserve precious medical equipment and resources. It is key that the governor provide further direction to the public and health facilities and define the types of surgeries and procedures that are considered nonessential.

In additions to its requests to the governor, the association also urged all people in South Dakota to stay home when possible. They say staying home is key to closing the spread and gives physicians, nurses and everyone on the front lines a fighting chance at having the equipment, time and resources necessary to take on this immense challenge.

The full letters to Gov. Noem and the people of South Dakota are attached to this story.