The number of COVID-19 cases in South Dakota has risen to 320 as of April 7, including 98 recovered cases and six deaths, according to the South Dakota Department of Health website.
Minnehaha county continues to lead in number of cases, which rose from 31 last Tuesday to 165 by April 7. Lincoln county, which borders Minnehaha, has the second highest number of cases with 27.
While 45 states have issued statewide or partial stay-at-home orders according to the New York Times, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has refrained to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order. This is due to her belief that such an order may not work for South Dakota as it has for other states, according to the Argus Leader.
“South Dakota is not New York City … the calls to apply for a one-size-fits-all approach to this problem is herd mentality,” Noem said. “It’s so important not to turn on the news and look at NYC and think that that’s what Lemmon, South Dakota is going to face in a month.”
Noem issued two executive orders on April 7. The first modifies an earlier executive order from March 23, which established guidelines for the state of South Dakota to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the condition that the order expires on May 2. The new order changes the language of the previous order from “should” to “shall,” and extends the order’s timeline to May 31.
Noem’s second executive order applies only to Minnehaha and Lincoln counties. The order directs individuals 65 years and older with serious underlying medical conditions to stay home. These medical conditions include lung diseases, heart conditions, immunodeficiency disorders, diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease.
The order includes exceptions for individuals who work in critical infrastructure jobs, according to South Dakota State News.
“I need this group in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties to stay home,” Noem said in a press conference Monday. “For the next three weeks, that is your directive through this executive order.”