SD virus cases are on the rise

It has taken a while, but the COVID-19 virus, commonly known as the coronavirus, has been catching up to South Dakota. As of last Monday there were 28 positive cases reported with 12 of those in Beadle County, which indicates a community spread. There were 782 negative tests with 265 still pending. Seventeen males and 11 females have tested positive. Eight were in the 50-59 age group and six were in the 60-69 age group with others scattered from young to old. 
In a press conference last Monday, Gov. Kristi Noem indicated that projections of the spread of the virus suggested 30 percent of the state’s population may contract the coronavirus. She said, “That is literally tens of thousands of people in our state. I understand that’s scary for some of you. Remember that more than 80 percent of infections are asymptomatic or cause mild illnesses.” She also said positive cases could increase in the summer months and that “this is not a two-week problem in the state.”
It appears South Dakota is at least two weeks behind other states that have closed their bars and restaurants to takeout only and prohibiting groups of 10 or more to congregate. Stores are also closed temporarily in other states in an effort to stem the spread of the virus by limiting social contact to groups of 10 or less. Western South Dakota has dodged the bullet thus far with all of our state’s virus cases reported in the eastern part. We tend to be more spread apart and socially separated in this area with the exception of Rapid City.
The governor suggested these steps to take for those who exhibit virus symptoms of fever, coughing or difficulty breathing.
• Call your health care provider immediately and tell them about any recent travel or exposure.
• Individuals who are concerned they have COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider via phone before going to a clinic or hospital to prevent spread in healthcare facilities.
• Avoid contact with other people.
• Follow the directions of your healthcare provider and public health officials.
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.
Together we can lick this thing sooner rather than later.

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