Virus Hits MC
Marshall County has its first case of COVID-19.
The South Dakota Department of Health (SDDOH) announced Monday that the county had its first positive test result. Unofficial reports indicated that an elementary student has tested positive for the coronovirus and is isolating at home.
In a conference call on Tuesday the SDDOH did say that the Marshall County case is a result of “community spread,” meaning that it could not be linked to any travel or any specific source.
Brown County has two cases, also the result of community spread. Roberts County also had its first case reported.
As of Tuesday afternoon the number of cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota had jumped to 108, up from 30 a week ago. However, of those 108 cases just a total of 12 people have been hospitalized to date with just a single death. Forty-four people in the state have recovered from the virus. A total of 3,609 people that have been tested have had negative results.
COVID-19 continues to grow across the country. At mid-afternoon on Tuesday there were a total of 180,789 cases and 3,580 deaths in the United States. That is up from 52,546 cases and 674 deaths a week ago. The international numbers stood at 845,651 cases and 41,437 deaths, an increase from 415,063 cases and 18,574 deaths last week.
South Dakota’s Department of Health said preparations continue for what it thinks will be the expected peak of the virus in the state at the end of May or early June. A large shipment of 143,000 surgery masks was received Monday with other equipment expected from federal suppliers soon, including 10-15 new testing platforms. The state is actively working with hospitals throughout the state to determine capacity, staffing, and equipment needs.
The South Dakota Legislature also held a marathon session Monday and Tuesday, not adjourning until nearly 4 a.m. Tuesday morning. The body made several decisions relating to COVID-19. The legislature waived
The legislature waived the minimum number of instructional hours required for schools and also waived standardized tests and certain reporting requirements for schools. It waived the expiration of driver’s licenses until July 1, 2021, and approved a small business loan fund of $10.5 million with loans available up to $75,000.
Any city and county election scheduled between April 14 and May 26 have also been postponed. Those county and municipal elections may be rescheduled to any Tuesday in June, including the date of the South Dakota primary on June 2.
The South Dakota High School Activities Association met on Friday and is still taking a “wait and see” attitude concerning high school activities. Playing the state boys and girls basketball tournaments is still a possibility in June and hoes that spring sports and other fine arts activities may still be held.
Local officials continue to be proactive and held a conference call last week Wednesday to update local residents. Emergency Manager Todd
Emergency Manager Todd Landmark noted that businesses have stepped up and made some positive changes to help “flatten the curve.”
“They should be commended for that,” said Landmark. “Some are closed completely and that’s a tough pill to swallow. But in the long run we will be better off because they made the decision to make the changes. Just stay home and stay safe.”
Marshall County Healthcare Administrator Nick Fosness also appreciated the efforts of businesses and individuals.
“I have a big appreciation for the preventative efforts taking place in Marshall County,” said Fosness. “I appreciate the sacrifices people are making with businesses and the way they live.”
Fosness said there have been a lot of questions about who should be tested. He said anyone with shortness of breath, a fever over 100, and a cough should be tested, but he stressed the importance of calling ahead. “It’s not all about me, it’s
“It’s not all about me, it’s about us,” stressed Fosness. “If we use poor hand hygiene or have social distancing failures it affects everyone. The growth of this is serious and we don’t want to be the next New York.”
Marshall County Auditor Megan Biel said that all county buildings remain locked but offices are still open. Each office is staffed to answer phones and conduct daily business by mail, phone, or email.
Britton Mayor Clyde Fredrickson talked about the drastic step of not allowing businesses to serve food on site.
“Our responsibility is to protect our citizens and the council decided we needed to take this drastic step,” Fredrickson said. “It’s very scary and we understand that small businesses will be hurt b y this through no fault of their own. We would just encourage everybody to do business in any way, shape, or form that they can to support them. It’s time to return the favor for all those times our businesses have stepped up for us.”
By The Numbers
Coronavirus (as of 3 p.m. Tuesday)
S.D. Cases: 108, 1 death
U.S. Cases: 180,789, 3,580 deaths World Cases: 845,651,
World Cases: 845,651, 41,437 deaths