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SD Governor Resists Calls to Issue 'Stay-at-Home' Order

States like Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota are among the last to decline to issue stay-at-home orders in light of the pandemic. (Adobe Stock)
States like Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota are among the last to decline to issue stay-at-home orders in light of the pandemic. (Adobe Stock)
April 3, 2020

PIERRE, S.D. - Despite growing calls for South Dakota to issue a shelter-in-place order, Gov. Kristi Noem has resisted such a move as the state responds to the pandemic.

Yesterday, Noem held a public briefing streamed through social media. She reiterated that now is not the time for South Dakota to order residents to stay in their homes, even as the state tries to flatten the curve of new coronavirus infections.

"I think there's a lot of misconceptions in South Dakota," said Noem. "That people think if we put everybody in their house and lock them there for two weeks, then let 'em out, that the virus will be gone and nobody would get sick, and everything would be perfect."

Noem has instead left it up to local officials to enact regulations. She still urges social distancing and hand-washing so the state's health-care system doesn't become overwhelmed before an anticipated peak-infection date of late June or early July.

A petition has been created through 'change.org,' calling on Noem to join the dozens of other states that have issued some form of stay-at-home order.

In the meantime, Noem said she's deploying the National Guard to help the state address the pandemic.

"They're going to help us set up hospital capacity in Rapid City and Sioux Falls first, and then we will continue to look at other communities that will need help," said Noem.

Yesterday, state health officials announced the biggest one-day jump in new coronavirus cases since it began reporting them.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - SD