Dramatic Growth In Unemployment Claims Seen By State Officials With More Expected

(KCCR) — Governor Kristi Noem says everything being done so far by South Dakotans to flatten the curve of infection from the Covid-19 coronavirus is working…

“We have had 46 positive tests in the state.  Sixteen of those 46 have fully recovered, that’s good news for us.  We have 1973 negative tests that have been processed and we have 125 at the State Public Health Lab that are still pending.  We expect that by Monday we will have the pending tests down to zero and that is good news as well.”
Two commercial testing labs are in operation now in South Dakota. The daily capacity to run tests is approximately 800 per day. Noem says last week just over 1700 first-time unemployment claims were received by the state…

“It’s an increase of just week-to-week of about 1500 claims which is dramatic and one thing I want to prepare you for is that we are seeing almost that number of unemployment claims per day, this week, so expect big, huge numbers next week and people signing up for unemployment because literally our economic activity in this state has dropped to almost nothing.”
President Donald Trump has said he hopes to end restrictions in place on social gatherings by Easter, but Noem isn’t sure that will work for South Dakota…

“I do not think South Dakota will be back to normal for many months; many months.  This is a long-term situation we have in front of us today so those who might think that by Easter things will be back to normal; I don’t want to discourage them, but I want to be very clear and honest with them  that we will be operating differently for many, many weeks to come here in South Dakota.”
Five new cases of Covid-19 were reported Thursday. Hughes and Lyman Counties remain the only counties in central South Dakota to see positive cases. Each county has only one infection each.