Noem says up to 70 percent of South Dakotans could get virus

PIERRE, S.D. ( and Argus Leader) – As many as 70% of South Dakotans could get the COVID-19 virus, according to projections shared by Gov. Kristi Noem on Friday.

Noem and health experts from the state’s major hospital systems discussed projections on how the novel coronavirus will spread throughout the state.

Previously, Noem had said she expected 30% of the state to become infected by the respiratory illness, but that number has expanded to include up to 70%, or 600,000 people. That’s taking into account those who get the virus but will show no symptoms or very minor symptoms.

“Our projections that we’re going to give you today, they’re dynamic … they will change as the virus spreads,” Noem said.

Given those numbers, the projections Noem shared estimate 5,000 hospital beds will be needed at the peak of the virus, which is currently looking to hit mid to late June. The state is also estimated to need 1,300 ventilators at its peak. It currently has 525 ventilators, Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.

22 new cases in SD

Another 22 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in South Dakota Friday, pushing the statewide total to 187.

One of the new cases is in Brown County. Two are in Codington County.

Four Brown County residents have recovered from the virus, while three in Codington County have.

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