SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The coronavirus was responsible for the death of a man diagnosed last week and the state has a confirmed 10th case of the virus, Gov. Kristi Noem announced Monday, March 16.
The deceased individual, a man in his 60s, died in Davison County March 10 from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, Noem said.
The man, a Pennington County resident, hadn't been there for two weeks previous to his death, she said. Previously state officials had said the man had underlying health issues, so they were waiting for a medical exam to determine if coronavirus was responsible.
The newly diagnosed case is a man in his 20s in Minnehaha County with a recent history of travel, Noem said. He is at home and resting, she said.
This is the fourth case confirmed in the county, the state's most populous and home to Sioux Falls, the state's largest city. All diagnosed individuals in the state have had a recent history of travel outside the state and limited contact with others.
The state public health lab processed hundreds of tests over the weekend. The total number of those tested is at 504, with the 10 positive and 494 negative, according to the state Department of Health's coronavirus information page on Monday at 5 p.m.
The state's public health lab has hit a snag for its turnaround time for processing coronavirus tests, Noem said. The lab has a shortage of the supplies it needs to rapidly process tests due to changes in its testing process.
While previously the state lab had about a 24-hour turnaround time, that is now stretching to 24-48 hours as the lab temporarily prioritizes medium- and high-risk tests. Noem said she expects this to be a short-term delay.
"Let me be clear: We do have plenty of tests. It is the supplies to run those tests that we are limited on, and therefore we're prioritizing the medium- and high-risk individuals today, and we'll get the results to everyone as soon as possible," she said.
Noem on Friday declared a state of emergency and asked for all public and private K-12 schools to close this week. The state's public universities are closed through this week on an extended spring break, on the direction of the state Board of Regents.
Noem said discussions were still ongoing about whether to reopen public schools next week.
- State education officials said they would allow for school food services to continue, despite school closures, after they received a green light from the U.S. Department of Agriculture;
- Noem said she's working with the U.S. Small Business Administration to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program in the state. The program would help eligible businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19;
- The South Dakota Department of Social Services encouraged in-state child care centers to follow cleaning recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control;
- Health officials in Sioux Falls said they're considering implementing a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people in city-owned facilities.
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