Covid-19 Update from Governor Kristi Noem

April 3, 2020

Covid-19 Update from Governor Kristi Noem

April 2, 2020

Covid-19 Update from Governor Kristi Noem

April 1, 2020

Covid-19 Update from Governor Kristi Noem

March 31, 2020

Current update by Governor Kristi Noem

March 27, 2020 ~  SDPB

Current Update By Gov. Kristi Noem

March 26,2020

Covid-19: What South Dakotans Need to Know

Senator Mike Rounds

March 27, 2020-  https://www.rounds.senate.gov/covid19 

Information on this page has been updated as of 3/27/20 

As COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, continues to spread to different parts of the world, all of us should take precautions to protect our health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are good sources for up-to-date, verified and factual information about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  We will continue to update this webpage as new information about COVID-19 becomes available. If you believe you may have COVID-19 symptoms, please call your doctor immediately. It is recommended that you call ahead before going to the hospital or doctor’s office so as to not infect others. The South Dakota Department of Health is tracking COVID-19 cases in South Dakota. As of March 27, 2020, there are 58 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in South Dakota. Visit their website for the latest information about COVID-19 in South Dakota. The following advice is from the CDC 

TESTING IN THE U.S.

RISK ASSESSMENT

Risk depends on characteristics of the virus, including how well it spreads between people; the severity of resulting illness; and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccines or medications that can treat the illness) and the relative success of these. In the absence of vaccine or treatment medications, nonpharmaceutical interventions become the most important response strategy. These are community interventions that can reduce the impact of disease.

The risk from COVID-19 to Americans can be broken down into risk of exposure versus risk of serious illness and death.

Risk of exposure:

  • The immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in a growing number of states.
  • People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with the level of risk dependent on the location.
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with level of risk dependent on where they traveled.

Risk of Severe Illness:

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults, with risk increasing by age.
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19.

SITUATION IN U.S.

Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is in the initiation phase of the pandemic. States in which community spread is occurring are in the acceleration phase. The duration and severity of each pandemic phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.

  • CDC and state and local public health laboratories are testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. View CDC’s Public Health Laboratory Testing map.
  • All 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19 to CDC.
  • U.S. COVID-19 cases include:
    • Imported cases in travelers
    • Cases among close contacts of a known case
    • Community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown.
  • Twenty-seven U.S. states are reporting some community spread of COVID-19.
  • View latest case counts, deaths, and a map of states with reported cases.

WHAT MAY HAPPEN

More cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the United States in the coming days, including more instances of community spread. CDC expects that widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur. In the coming months, most of the U.S. population will be exposed to this virus.

Widespread transmission of COVID-19 could translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time. Schools, childcare centers, and workplaces, may experience more absenteeism. Mass gatherings may be sparsely attended or postponed. Public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths. Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and sectors of the transportation industry may also be affected. Healthcare providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed. At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it. Nonpharmaceutical interventions will be the most important response strategy to try to delay the spread of the virus and reduce the impact of disease.

TRAVEL INFORMATION SYMPTOMSReported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF RESOURCES FOR STATE, LOCAL, TERRITORIAL AND TRIBAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS This page includes information and resources about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for state, local, territorial and tribal health departments.  

image307

Sen. John Thune returns to South Dakota after feeling ill

March 26, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Sen. John Thune was consulting with his doctor in his home state of South Dakota on Thursday after leaving Washington, D.C., a day earlier because he felt ill.

Thune, the Senate majority whip, was told by doctors to self-monitor and that he didn't need to take additional action, according to a Wednesday night update from spokesman Ryan Wrasse. Thune flew home on a chartered flight, accompanied by one member of his security detail. He also took the precaution of wearing a mask on the flight.

Thune is 59. His office declined to say whether he would be tested for COVID-19 or who paid for the flight. Wrasse tweeted later Thursday that Thune had improved Thursday morning.

South Dakota's other senator, Republican Mike Rounds, is self-isolating at his family farm in South Dakota following the vote on a $2.2 trillion fiscal package aimed at shoring up the nation’s economy.

Rounds told reporters Thursday he is taking the precaution in part because his wife, Jean, is at higher risk for COVID-19 following her treatment for cancer. He said he is not feeling symptoms but plans to take the precaution for seven to 10 days.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul announced Sunday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He kept working for six days after getting tested, saying he had no symptoms.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

image308

Senator Thune

March 21, 2020

 

Extraordinary Times Require Swift and Bold Action

By Sen. John Thune

By now, it would be hard to find any American who hasn’t been affected one way or another by the coronavirus outbreak. Our day-to-day lives have been upended, people around us are anxious, and we’re learning about new terms like “social distancing.” Everyone is wondering how long this outbreak will last, when it will peak, and what life will look like on the other side. While I wish I knew the answers to those questions, I’m certain we’ll eventually get beyond this, and we’ll be stronger for it.

It’s not often that our nation faces moments like these – moments where Americans are asked to band together to confront a collective challenge. There are things we all can do to help. Yes, it can be inconvenient, but by staying home and avoiding large crowds, we can hopefully put a dent in this pandemic. And you’re going to hear a lot more of this in the coming days and weeks, but continue to wash your hands regularly and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. These are among the most consistent tips I hear from the medical professionals who I’ve been in touch with in recent days.  

Like you, I’ve seen stories about some folks who are taking these recommendations less seriously than others. I can’t stress this enough, but successfully beating this outbreak will require a bit of sacrifice from all of us. If the worst side effect is feeling inconvenienced, that’s a small price to pay to help ensure we protect our communities and loved ones. For many people, though, it goes beyond a simple inconvenience. Not everyone can telework, so staying home can mean missing a paycheck. That’s where Congress can step up to help.

The Senate is focused on providing as much relief to the American people as possible and doing it as quickly as possible. We’ve already sent two relief packages to the president, which are now law. We’ve invested in research and development, provided support to medical professionals around the country, ensured that anyone who needs to be tested for the coronavirus can be tested at no cost to the patient, and leaned on 21st century tools like telemedicine. It’s a good start, but there’s more relief on the way.  

These are extraordinary times that require swift and bold action, which is why I’ve been working with my colleagues to develop another round of proposals to address the economic effects of this crisis – to ensure workers and small businesses around the country can effectively weather this storm. I’m glad to report that the Treasury Department has already approved one of my proposals that would extend this year’s federal tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15. The last thing on people’s minds right now is filing their taxes, so the least we can do is give them a temporary reprieve from having to deal with the IRS in the middle of this outbreak. To those South Dakotans who are expecting a tax refund and would like to file early, you can exercise that option today.  

I’ve heard from many folks who are looking for additional ways to pitch in and help their communities and neighbors through this difficult time. Small businesses across South Dakota are going to feel the effects from this outbreak, so as simple as it sounds, I’d encourage those who want to help to consider ordering food from your favorite local restaurant, purchasing an online gift card from a Main Street shop, or calling in orders for products or services that can be redeemed at a later date.   

We’re all in this together, but America’s elected leaders have a heightened responsibility, particularly in times like these, to prove that we can rise to the occasion. In the coming days, I hope we can live up to that goal. In the meantime, I want South Dakotans to know that I’m leaving it all on the field. We’ll get beyond this – together.  

Follow @SenJohnThune on twitter for updates on what the federal government is doing to address the coronavirus outbreak.

image309

Noem Update

Thursday,  March 19, 2020 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota officials on Thursday reported three more positive cases of COVID-19 from a batch of 94 high-priority tests at the state health lab.

The lab halted testing this week after running out of supplies to conduct tests, but the lab obtained more supplies earlier in the day. Health officials are working with limited testing supplies, prioritizing tests from those who pose the greatest threat of spreading the coronavirus to vulnerable people.

All three people tested positive live in Beadle County. They include two men and one woman who are in their 30s, 40s, or 60s. Health officials will be interviewing them to see if there is evidence of community spread there.

Gov. Kristi Noem remained upbeat on the situation in South Dakota, saying that the relatively small number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 meant “the actions that we’ve taken are working.”

After testing 663 people for COVID-19, the state has 14 positive results, including one person who died. But there are 270 more tests waiting at the lab.

When Noem was asked by reporters why she has reiterated that there is no community spread while hundreds of tests await results, she said, “I have to use the data and the facts that I have to back up what I say.”

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said the state has supplies to run about 100 tests. They will be saving those for people like healthcare providers and nursing home workers who could easily spread the coronavirus.

Noem said she expected more supplies in the next few days.

“We certainly in this country don’t have enough supplies to test everyone,” the governor said.

In the meantime, the state lab is sending some of its tests to commercial labs out of the state. Those will take four or five days to process.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild cases recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe ones can take three to six weeks to get better.

The governor highlighted the positive stories emerging as the state shutters many of its usual activities and businesses bear the economic slowdown. The state call center for unemployment claims has seen an influx of calls in the last week, even adding phone lines and assigning more staff to keep up with the calls.

“We need to spend some time talking about how communities have come together,” Noem said.

Earlier in the day, she told staff at the state's Emergency Operations Center in Pierre they could be working for up to five more weeks, but added “we don't necessarily know."

Minnehaha County, which contains the state's largest city Sioux Falls, has seen the most cases at five. Officials there continued to attempt to limit social interactions, with the mayor closing all non-essential city buildings in the hope it would push bars and restaurants to limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people. The city's largest mall is also closed.

Federal courts in the state postponed all trials scheduled for the rest of the month. The South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice has also issued an order allowing judges to delay trials and limit visitors to court buildings throughout the state.

One of the state's largest healthcare providers, Avera, said on Thursday it would postpone some elective surgeries. Kevin Post, the Chief Medical Officer for Avera, said they were preparing for a possible surge in patients from the coronavirus.

___

Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


image310

Senator Rounds Update

Rounds Report: COVID-19 Update
March 18, 2020

Today, I voted in favor of legislation to provide additional relief to South Dakota families and businesses, both ag and non-ag, impacted by the effects of COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was negotiated by House Democrats and the Trump administration, and passed by the Senate earlier today. 

While it is far from perfect, it does include necessary provisions that will help our country during the COVID-19 outbreak. Included in this legislation are provisions which provide tax credits for paid sick, family and medical leave as well as provisions that address insurance for individuals unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Most importantly, it will deliver immediate relief to South Dakota families and workers while providing free COVID-19 testing that will help track and stop the spread of the disease. 

While the COVID-19 crisis is unlike any other we’ve seen in modern times, American resilience remains strong. We settled the West, put a man on the moon and won two World Wars. There’s no challenge we can’t overcome when we put our minds to it. 

We continue to work on additional measures to address the effects of COVID-19, including legislation to provide economic relief. Every family and business, both ag and non-ag, has been impacted by the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to work together, in a bipartisan manner, to find timely, targeted solutions that keep South Dakotans healthy and help struggling businesses across the state.

For the latest updates on COVID-19 cases in South Dakota, I encourage you to visit www.covid.sd.gov. We are also regularly updating our website, www.rounds.senate.gov/covid19, with the latest information from the state of South Dakota and the Centers for Disease Control.  

image311

Noem update

BY STEPHEN GROVES, Associated Press Wednesday, March 18, 2020 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota officials on Thursday reported three more positive cases of COVID-19 from a batch of 94 high-priority tests at the state health lab.

The lab halted testing this week after running out of supplies to conduct tests, but the lab obtained more supplies earlier in the day. Health officials are working with limited testing supplies, prioritizing tests from those who pose the greatest threat of spreading the coronavirus to vulnerable people.

All three people tested positive live in Beadle County. They include two men and one woman who are in their 30s, 40s, or 60s. Health officials will be interviewing them to see if there is evidence of community spread there.

Gov. Kristi Noem remained upbeat on the situation in South Dakota, saying that the relatively small number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 meant “the actions that we’ve taken are working.”

After testing 663 people for COVID-19, the state has 14 positive results, including one person who died. But there are 270 more tests waiting at the lab.

When Noem was asked by reporters why she has reiterated that there is no community spread while hundreds of tests await results, she said, “I have to use the data and the facts that I have to back up what I say.”

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said the state has supplies to run about 100 tests. They will be saving those for people like healthcare providers and nursing home workers who could easily spread the coronavirus.

Noem said she expected more supplies in the next few days.

“We certainly in this country don’t have enough supplies to test everyone,” the governor said.

In the meantime, the state lab is sending some of its tests to commercial labs out of the state. Those will take four or five days to process.

image312

Update

  

Native American tribes brace for coronavirus: 'It's going to be a test' Erik Ortiz NBC News• March 15, 2020

The normal sound of students shuffling through the hall has been replaced by silence at Marty Indian School, a kindergarten to grade 12 facility on the Yankton Sioux Tribe's reservation in South Dakota.

Following in the footsteps of other school officials across the country, Superintendent John Beheler said the decision was made to close Marty Indian on Thursday and Friday ahead of this week's spring break. It comes after an Indian Health Service patient in Charles Mix County, where the school and reservation are, tested positive Wednesday for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, health officials said.

An Indian Health Service official said the person had traveled to a conference in the United States, and others who came into contact with the patient were being tested as well.

"We'll have to start looking at relational ties to the individual and if there are any relatives in attendance in our school," Beheler said.

Even in this sparsely populated prairie land of rolling hillsides and bluffs, the paralyzing effects of the global coronavirus outbreak have hit home.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

The tribe on Friday approved a "declaration of disaster," which means its offices will be closed this week for cleaning, while employees are banned from traveling to major cities and states affected by the virus, and the tribe's 9,000 members are being asked to stay away from public gatherings. For students at Marty Indian School, a plan to see the Minnesota Timberwolves play the Los Angeles Lakers this month was abandoned after the NBA announced it is suspending the rest of the season.

"Demographically, we have a situation here that a lot of our kids live with elders and their grandparents, and so we have to take these precautionary measures," Beheler added.

But leaders of Native American tribes across the country acknowledge that it's only a matter of time before they may be thrown into a similar situation as the Yankton Sioux, and have begun banning forms of travel and declaring a state of emergency.

Most pressing is the need for federal funding that can provide medical supplies and testing kits, said Jonathan Nez, the president of the Navajo Nation, the largest tribal reservation in the United States spanning the corners of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

"We're asking Congress to intervene to make sure that we get the funding we need," Nez said.

This month, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., the vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led a bipartisan group of 27 senators to ask Vice President Mike Pence to ensure all tribal leaders and urban Indian health departments are not left out of the conversation to combat the coronavirus and are provided with the $40 million in funding for their efforts.

The House of Representative's emergency relief package, which is awaiting Senate approval, allocates $64 million to the Indian Health Service to address the coronavirus' impact on the more than 2.5 million American Indian and Alaska Native population the agency services.

The amount, however, still falls short of the $94 million for emergency funding sought by the National Council of Urban Indian Health. But council spokeswoman Meredith Raimondi said it's still an improvement from when Urban Indian Organizations missed out in past emergency funding, such as for the Zika virus.

"Our biggest concern right now is that there's not really a funding mechanism for the CDC to distribute funds to Indian country," Raimondi said, adding that she'd like to see an interagency agreement coordinate funding.

"Because of bureaucracy, it can take a while," Raimondi said.

The majority of Native Americans don't live on a reservation, she added, but many still get health care through Indian health programs.

Udall said the Trump administration's "insufficient response" to COVID-19 could leave Native American communities to "bear the worst costs of this public health crisis." He told NBC News that his office is in contact with federal agencies to make sure funds are dispersed swiftly, there's a funding release timeline and that coronavirus testing is accessible in Indian country.

On Wednesday, Udall introduced a bill that would allow tribes to apply directly to the CDC's public health emergency preparedness program, which provides states and some cities access to federal resources meant for getting them ready for public health emergencies. Tribes are currently ineligible.

"Tribal communities face unique challenges in responding to public health threats, and we need to do everything we can to make sure that Native Americans don't get left behind," Udall said.

  The potential spread of the coronavirus on reservations is compounded by already existing disparities affecting the Native American population, including barriers to accessible health care, poor health, unemployment and generational poverty.

In 2017, the chairman of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, Robert Flying Hawk, testified before the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs about how the closing of inpatient care at an Indian Health Service hospital and the shuttering of a 24-hour emergency room had created hardships for his community.

A series of extreme weather events that devastated South Dakota last year and affected reservations, including the Yankton Sioux, exposed how difficult it was for tribes to get federal funding.

The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, was in a state of emergency a year ago because of the extreme flooding.

On Tuesday, Oglala President Julian Bear Runner declared a state of emergency because of the coronavirus. He said the tribe had still not received any testing kits from the federal government.

"Who knows how long we will be walking with this disease and not be able to properly diagnose that, quarantine and treat those who have been affected," he told the Argus Leader. The tribe has also banned travel for tribal employees.

As of Saturday, South Dakota reported one death related to the coronavirus: a man in his 60s with underlying health conditions.

News

In an email, Indian Health Services told NBC News that all of its facilities are capable of testing patients for COVID-19 at no cost. After the case in Charles Mix County, the agency added that it is "working closely with [South Dakota] to identify anyone else in the community who has been in close contact with the patient and may need to be tested."

In eastern Oregon, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation had to temporarily close its casino last week after an employee contracted the coronavirus. Tribal officials said there were no known cases involving tribal residents.

The Navajo Nation has also declared a state of emergency, although there were no confirmed cases of the coronavirus on the reservation as of Saturday. Some residents have been tested, but the testing was done through state health departments, not through Indian Health Service, which could reach more people.

Nez said his COVID-19 Preparedness Team is monitoring the states and counties within the reservation and community health representatives have been going door to door to check on the elderly and other vulnerable people. At least 30 to 40 people have been tested, with drive-up testing also available in New Mexico.

To get the word out to more people, tribal leaders announced the translation of COVID-19 into the Navajo language: Dikos Ntsaaígíí-Náhást'éíts'áadah.

The Navajo Nation is susceptible to the spread of the virus as a popular tourist destination and the home of four casinos, Nez said. Arizona has tracked at least 12 coronavirus cases, while New Mexico has had at least 10.

The reservation dealt with its own outbreak in 1993 of the hantavirus, a severe pulmonary disease spread by rodents. The mortality rate for the Navajo was 44 percent, higher than the general population, according to a 2016 federal government report.

"It's going to be a test," Navajo member Vernon Livingston, 38, said of the response to the latest outbreak.

Livingston, who lives on the reservation near Window Rock, Arizona, said the news of the coronavirus has sent people panic-buying toilet paper and food at markets. While he applauds the community health representatives and tribal leaders with making sure residents understand the coronavirus, Facebook remains the common way for people to share what's going on.

He worries about the stigma of dealing with illness and some people seeking the use of medicine men and local traditionalists with warding off a new disease that currently has no vaccine.

"If people start getting sick, us Navajos will think of how we're going to fix it," he added. "A lot of us Navajo men can be really stubborn about going to the hospital — we think, we'll stay home and fight it. But this is something different.