Gov. Noem: COVID-19 expected to spread through Beadle County

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - South Dakota now has 21 positive cases of COVID-19; with a spike in Beadle County where the level of transmission is now ‘substantial,” possibly becoming the first county in South Dakota where the virus spreads throughout the community.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Sunday said she expects COVID-19 to spread through Beadle County within days. (KOTA TV)

Six of the seven new cases are from Beadle County, bringing that county’s total to 10 as of Sunday morning. Gov. Kristi Noem said she expects Beadle County could be in a community spread situation within days.

When asked about instituting restrictions, Noem says she can give directives but can’t enforce; that is at the local level she stressed. She will ask Beadle County and the city of Huron to be more active in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

The new Beadle cases come from tests done on people who had close contact with others who tested positive.

As of Sunday, there were 21 positive cases of the COVID-19; 740 negative results and 277 still pending. However, this doesn’t include the estimated 700 tests being conducted by private labs. Those results, the governor said, would be released when available.

Noem said she believes the state has adequate resources, even though acknowledging there will be more cases. “We are in this for several weeks yet and we need to be vigilant,” she said.

People seeking information on COVID-19 should make sure it comes from verifiable, accurate sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the South Dakota Department of Health.