Positive cases increased by 73 in one day


Gracie Terrall, Copy Editor

In Gov. Kristi Noem’s April 8 press briefing, she announced that she spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and he agrees that a one size fits all approach is not what is needed in South Dakota. 

Noem also confirmed that South Dakota has cut infection rates in half for the peak point in June. She attributes this to the state’s mitigation efforts. 

Although the number of cases is continuing to rise in South Dakota — April 8 saw a jump of 73 cases within the day — the number of individuals recovering is also increasing. 

Noem and South Dakota Secretary of the Department of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon spoke about the increased number of cases at Sioux Falls’ Smithfield Foods Inc., plant. 

Noem confirmed that the state Department of Health is working with the Sioux Falls health department. Malsam-Rysdon also confirmed that the number of cases connected to the facility is over 80. All connected cases are individuals employed at Smithfield Foods Inc. 

“Employers are doing the right thing in South Dakota,” Malsam-Rysdon said about handling employees with COVID-19 symptoms.

Most employers are still paying employees if they are forced to self-isolate, so individuals do not have to worry about finances, according to Malsam-Rysdon. 

Noem also addressed the drastic hit to the state’s budget. She said that the decline in economic activity not only affects the state budget, but individual city and county budgets as well. 

“The impact to the state budget is directly reflected by what kind of economic activity is happening across the state,” Noem said. “It tells you how badly our businesses and employers are hurting as well.” 

Noem hopes that the state will be able to be held accountable for the budgets and prove that the holes in the budget are in direct correlation with the virus. She also wishes for the opportunity to use federal stimulus funds to fill those gaps.

Malsam-Rysdon said counties that are listed as community spread but have seen stable numbers over the past few days will not be taken off the community spread list.

“We want to make sure people don’t let down their guard, and they continue to take precautions that they need to,” Malsam-Rysdon said.

She also added that the South Dakota Department of Health believes there will be continued spread in those counties. 

Noem also announced that she has not been tested for COVID-19, but is practicing social distancing.