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Coronavirus

Governor Says South Dakota Is Doing ‘Good’ As Virus Surges

October 23, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Gov. Kristi Noem has insisted South Dakota is excelling in its handling of the pandemic, although the state surpassed 9,000 active coronavirus cases and matched an all-time high for deaths reported in a day.

The state ranks second in the country in new infections per capita over the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There were about 1,036 new cases per 100,000 people in South Dakota, meaning that about one in every 97 people in the state has tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks. Health officials on Thursday also reported an all-time high of 973 new cases.

But the Republican governor has used her refusal to issue government mandates to vault to nationwide relevance among conservatives. She told Fox News on Wednesday night, “We’re doing really good in South Dakota. We’re managing COVID-19, but also our economy is thriving.”

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