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Governor Noem declares state of emergency in South Dakota

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Governor Noem declares state of emergency in South Dakota

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem declared a state of emergency in South Dakota in response to the COVID-19 pandemic Friday, March 13.

Noem's state of emergency order closes all schools statewide next week. Noem asked private schools to close as well. Noem says the closure allows for school administrations to clean and prepare for the following weeks.

Just days after announcing the first cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota, the state is up to nine positive test results.

She is also postponing all state basketball tournaments and all other extra-curricular activities, and signed an executive order allowing all non-essential employees to work from home.

"I just signed a state of emergency order which will direct the Department of Health and other agencies to seek and to accept funding or other resources from government or private entities to treat, control and to stop the spread of COVID-19," Noem said.

Officials from the State Health Department says commercial labs are now available to help with testing. Noem says she wants to treat, control and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Noem says the CDC issued new guidance, which will require only one specimen per person to allow more testing.

State officials have also set up a hotline at 800-997-2880. That number is for anyone who has questions about the virus.

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