PIERRE, S.D. — The United States Department of Health and Human Services announced $58 million in funding for South Dakota to support testing for COVID-19, according to a news release.

The funding from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act will provide support to develop, purchase, administer, process and analyze COVID-19 tests, conduct surveillance, trace contracts and related activities, the release said.

Gov. Kristi Noem will be required to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for COVID-19 testing, which shall include:

  • Number of tests needed, month-by-month to include diagnostic, serological, and other tests, as appropriate.

  • Month-by-month estimates of laboratory and testing capacity, including related to workforce, equipment and supplies, and available tests.

  • Description of how the resources will be used for testing, including easing any COVID-19 community mitigation policies.

Dept. of Social Services receives $9M for child care programs

The South Dakota Department of Social Services received $9 million in CARES Act funding to support child care programs to help with challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release.

“Many providers have seen their earnings decline due to changes in employment and school closures which led to more kids being absent from their programs,” said Department of Social Services Secretary Laurie Gill in the release.

“We understand the struggles providers are facing and will disburse the funds as quickly as possible.”

Payments to providers will be based on program size, efforts made to assist families, and account for children absent from program attendance.

The funding is available to child care providers registered and licensed by the state. Providers will receive an email with the application for funding and will have 30 days to apply.

By the numbers

The South Dakota Department of Health reported two more deaths resulting from COVID-19 Tuesday, May 19.

One of the deaths was a person in the 50-59 age range, the other was in the 80 and over age range and they came from Minnehaha and Pennington counties. To date, 46 people have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Overall, there were 58 new positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota, bringing the total to 4,085.

Active case numbers decreased to 1,125, down 74 from Monday, while hospitalizations increased to 327, up 11 from Monday.

A total of 2,914 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the state.

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