A Marathon, Not a Sprint: South Dakota’s Fight against COVID-19

By Governor Kristi Noem
April 10, 2020

South Dakotans are stepping up. They are taking personal responsibility to keep themselves, their loved ones, and their fellow citizens safe. They’re practicing social distancing.

And our frontline workers are bravely serving their fellow South Dakotans, fighting this virus day-in and day-out.

The State of South Dakota is doing our part as well. This week I signed four executive orders to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Some had to do with the entire state; one specifically told vulnerable populations in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties to stay home for the next three weeks.

We unveiled a new tool for South Dakotans to use to help fight the spread of the virus as well. Many South Dakotans have already downloaded the Care 19 app, which will empower individuals to do their part by providing accurate and timely information to assist the Department of Health’s contact tracing efforts.

South Dakota is the second state in the nation to adopt this new technology.

But in addition to these and many other mitigation efforts that we are employing, many South Dakotans are also offering their prayers as another powerful weapon in the fight against COVID-19.

And this week is an important time to do so. The Jewish Passover started this past Wednesday. For Christians, today is Good Friday; Sunday is Easter. This Holy Week is the perfect time for us to join together and pray for an end to this pandemic.

I declared this past Wednesday a Statewide Day of Prayer. But our prayers shouldn’t stop there. We should all continue to pray for success in the fight against this disease, for comfort for those who have suffered loss, and for strength for all those who continue to fight, both in South Dakota and around the world.

Our celebrations may be a little different this Holy Week. We may not be able to gather in big groups with friends and family or praise God in fellowship with our respective churches.

I would encourage South Dakotans to take this unique opportunity to develop new traditions for praising God.

I wanted to highlight one example of this: a group of young South Dakotans who, together with their classmates, offered this beautiful prayer for peace in times of adversity.

I’d encourage you to listen to their beautiful song, and I am so grateful that they found a way to praise God (and warm all of our hearts) while still practicing social distancing.

Thanks to all the hard work South Dakotans are doing, we’ve cut our projected peak infection rate in half already. South Dakotans have been absolute rockstars, but there’s more work to do.

We will continue to use every tool available to us to fight this virus.

Together, we can do this.

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