State’s unemployment claims on the rise because of COVID-19 outbreak

Five more positive cases of COVID-19 were reported by the state Department of Health on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 46.  Thursday’s reported positive cases include three more in Minnehaha County, and one more in Lincoln and Beadle counties. Governor Kristi Noem said Thursday that 16 of those who tested positive for the virus have fully recovered.

There are 125 pending cases currently at the state health lab.  With two commercial labs in the state online now as well, Noem said that they expect by Monday to have the number of pending tests at the state health lab down to zero.  The governor reiterated that the state will be operating differently for many weeks yet to come.  

In her news conference on Thursday, Governor Noem also talked about the large surge in claims for unemployment benefits in the state this past week.

Noem said that number is only going to continue to grow in the weeks ahead.

Governor Noem also encouraged anyone who is healthy and able to donate blood as the Red Cross is in need of blood donations.  She also encouraged anyone who may be able to volunteer in some capacity that may be needed to do so. She said more information on registering as a volunteer can be found on the state’s COVID-19 web page.