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Noem, DOH Continue Statewide Effort to Prepare for COVID-19

For Immediate Release

 March 5, 2020

Contact: Kristin Wileman


Noem, DOH Continue Statewide Effort to Prepare for COVID-19 

South Dakotans still at “low risk” for coronavirus


PIERRE, S.D. - Governor Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Department of Health (SDDOH) today hosted a web discussion with more than 600 South Dakota health professionals to highlight statewide efforts to prepare for COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus.


“There is a low risk for South Dakotans to become infected with coronavirus,” said Noem. “Regardless, we are prepared. We have the right people and plans in place to handle this situation in the event it is detected in our state.”


“For the general public, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is low,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “However, we know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. South Dakotans can help stop the spread of germs by washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning surfaces regularly, and staying home if you are sick.”


To proactively protect and prepare South Dakota for coronavirus, Noem and SDDOH has:

  • Commissioned an agency taskforce for coordination and planning with partners and other state agencies;
  • Developed an action plan for information management, incident management, and monitoring for persons at risk of infection
  • Communicated regularly with healthcare providers across the state, especially as it relates to coordinating with the CDC;
  • Developed capacity at the State Public Health Laboratory to test for virus that causes COVID-19; and
  • Launched a COVID-19 website to keep South Dakotans up-to-date on current situations.


Earlier this week, Noem joined Vice President Mike Pence and governors from across the nation for a discussion on the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force. Noem also visited the State Health Lab and spoke with the state team charged with preparing for the virus. 


To date, there are no cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota. To learn more about the state’s efforts surrounding coronavirus, visit the Department of Health website.


Download photos of Noem’s phone call with Vice President Pence here and her visit to the State Health Lab here.