Pennington County man who tested positive for coronavirus first to die in state

Pennington County man who tested positive for coronavirus first to die in state

Kristi Noem

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem

There are five presumptive positive cases of coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, in South Dakota, including a Pennington County man who has died.

Gov. Kristi Noem said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that each case is related to travel. Whether the travel was domestic or international wasn't disclosed at the press conference.

The cases include a Pennington County man in his 60s who died Tuesday. It is unknown whether coronavirus was the cause of his death, as he had other pre-existing health conditions.

The other cases include a man in his 40s from Beadle County; a man in his 50s from Charles Mix County; a woman in her 30s from Davidson County and a man in his 40s from Minnehaha County.

Kim Malsam-Rysdon, the secretary for the Department of Health, said the state received the tests at 8 a.m. Tuesday and received positive results by 2:15 p.m. The next step is to send the positive samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further testing.

“That is why we refer to them as ‘presumptive positive’ cases,” Noem said. “We have confirmed that they’re COVID-19 positive cases, but we’re going to send them on to the CDC and that’s where they will confirm what we have with our testing process.”

Noem’s main message to the public is not to panic and that common sense is the best approach.

“Wash your hands. If you’re not feeling well, stay home. Call your health-care providers if you have any symptoms,” she said. “Not panicking is important. Using common-sense protocols will make sure that we’re responsible for how we handle this situation.”

For more information, visit or call 1-800-997-2880.

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