PIERRE, S.D. –State health officials today outlined South Dakota’s steps to prepare for community spread of COVID-19, as well as what South Dakotans can do now. To date, no one in South Dakota has tested positive for COVID-19.
“Since the start of this outbreak, South Dakota has taken steps to prepare for and carefully monitor for potential cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advised states to be prepared for community spread of COVID-19. The Department of Health is working with partners across the state to ensure South Dakota is prepared to respond.
“For the general public, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is low,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemiologist. “However, we know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and the same family emergency plans and kits that we use to prepare for the flu, snowstorms, and floods are important now. South Dakotans can help stop the spread of germs by washing your hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning surfaces regularly, and staying home if you are sick.”
To date, South Dakota has taken the following steps to prepare:
- Launched an internal agency taskforce for coordination and planning with partners and other state agencies
- Developed an action plan for information management, incident management, and surveillance for persons at risk of infection
- Communicated regularly with healthcare providers through the SD Health Alert Network to provide the latest information and guidance from CDC
- Implemented a CDC test to allow the State Public Health Laboratory to detect the virus that causes COVID-19
- Launched a COVID-19 website to update South Dakotans on the current situation
“As this situation develops, we will continue to keep South Dakotans updated through our website and social media channels,” said Secretary Malsam-Rysdon. “Its important to remember that the most accurate and timely information regarding this outbreak is available through the Department of Health, as well as the CDC’s website.”