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South Dakota task force to look at opening economy

Photo courtesy: MGN
Photo courtesy: MGN(WLUC)
Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 4:12 PM CDT
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Gov. Kristi Noem has unveiled a task force to evaluate opening up the state as the country continues to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor said the state has created a "medical review committee" that will look at President Donald Trump's plan for reopening America.

The committee will include Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Avera Chief Medical Officer Dave Erickson, Avera Group Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kevin Post, Monument Health CEO Paulette Davidson, Monument Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brad Archer, Sanford Health President Paul Hanson, and Sanford Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allison Suttle.

Noem also unveiled preliminary guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control regarding the Smithfield Foods. A CDC response team toured the meat processing facility in Sioux Falls after it temporarily closed due to a large COVID-19 outbreak which has sickened hundreds. The CDC is recommending the company increase social distancing efforts and provide more face shields for workers.

Noem asked that South Dakotans continue social distancing efforts for "several more weeks," and also asked more people to download the Care19 app. So far, 14,000 people have downloaded the app, which helps officials track the spread of COVID-19.