Gov. Kristi Noem wants all South Dakota school districts to close through March 20 so staff can do a “deep clean” of all school facilities.
The directive is for public schools. However, the governor also advises private schools to do the same.
This is the latest state action designed to keep the COVID-19 coronavirus from spreading throughout communities. At this time, COVID-19 is not being spread through community contact. All nine positive cases originated from travel outside of the state.
The governor has also signed an emergency order to help local entities deal with responses to the health issue.
As of 11 a.m. Friday, March 13, 2020 South Dakota had nine positive cases (including one death), 73 negative test results, and 11 tests that are still pending.
Per new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, people will only have one specimen tested instead of two. This doubles the amount of virus test kits available. Commercial laboratories will also be pressed into service to conduct tests, speeding up results.