Noem Warns SD Could Have 600,000 COVID-19 Cases


PIERRE, SD. (AP) – Gov. Kristi Noem says South Dakota is preparing for coronavirus/COVID-19 to infect anywhere from 30% to 70% of the population, which means up to 600,000 people with the disease and as many as 5,000 hospitalizations.

She’s not sure what the death toll from the virus will be – it’s currently 3.

Noem also says she plans to keep South Dakota among the dwindling number of states to not issue stay-at-home orders, explaining that she believes current limits and recommendations should allow South Dakota hospitals to be ready by mid-June to handle the peak of infections.

Meanwhile, a Sioux Falls elder care facility says one resident has died of COVID-19. The Prince of Peace Retirement Community, run by Avera Health, announced earlier that 3 residents had been infected.

Avera says it believes that a staff member with the disease but showing no symptoms had unknowingly brought the virus into the facility. The facility isolated residents who caught the virus and this is the first one of those to die.