Noem Says Data Doesn't Show Need For Statewide Stay-At-Home Order

Apr 16, 2020

Credit Office of Governor Kristi Noem

Governor Kristi Noem continues to defend her decision not to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.
She says more South Dakotan’s are staying at home than in some states that require it.

South Dakota is one of eight states without a stay-at-home order.

Noem says any order she puts in place needs to be sustainable for a period of time. In the past, she’s suggested a stay-at-home order could have to last until October.

Noem says a stay-at-home order is still possible, but since the COVID-19 outbreak is fluid, determining the length is problematic. She says people might not stay put if she needed to extend an order.

The Republican governor says she hasn’t ruled it out, but…

“I haven’t seen a data set that has told me that it is necessary,” Noem says. “I will tell folks that it’s not that I’m not teachable and that I’m not listening to other people. I am. I’m talking to other governors several times every day. I’m talking to experts that have looked at other countries and constantly doing research on what are the best mitigation measures and what is really working.”

State officials have new information about the projected peak of COVID-19 cases. They now estimate cases will peak in mid June and that the state will need 2,500 hospital beds.

Noem says that number of beds is half of earlier estimates. The governor says that’s because state residents are following her executive orders.