Governor Noem has issued an executive order that urges some citizens in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties to stay home for the next three weeks. The request includes adults over 65 and people with chronic conditions to limit their exposure to the coronavirus.
Noem says data shows these people are at greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
“Nationwide, eight out of ten deaths have been reported in adults that are 65 years old and older. In South Dakota, three of our four deaths have been in this category as well. Two-thirds of our positive cases are in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties right now.”
The governor says half of the South Dakotans hospitalized with COVID-19 have chronic health conditions. They include lung disease, heart conditions, diabetes, and people with suppressed immune systems.
“This group of individuals needs to take this very seriously. I need this group in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties to stay home. For the next three weeks that is your directive through this executive order—is to stay home.”
Noem says the executive order does not prevent people from going outside. She says it’s an order to comply with social distancing and other CDC guidelines.
More than 160 city and county officials have asked the governor to declare a statewide public health emergency.