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South Dakota up to 21 cases; governor not ordering closures

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota health officials say the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has increased from 14 to 21.

Gov. Kristi Noem told reporters during a conference call Sunday that one of the new cases was in Brown County and the other six were in Beadle County. She said all seven people apparently contracted the virus by traveling or having contact with someone else who had it.

She said Beadle County, now with 10 total cases, appears to be on the verge of community spread. She says local leaders in that county should take “serious action” to limit group sizes.

She stopped short of issuing any orders.

There have been 740 negative tests and 277 are pending at the state health lab. Noem says they have more than 700 tests at commercial labs awaiting results.  There has been one death in South Dakota linked to the illness.

The latest numbers and information is available at the state Department of Health website.