Watertown COVID-19 Task Force

Mayor Sara Caron addressed the news media during a Thursday afternoon press conference.  The Watertown Area COVID-19 Task Force, made up of local officials will be providing daily updates on the status of COVID-19 in our area. 

The Watertown COVID-19 Task Force held their first press conference Thursday afternoon at the Watertown Police Department.  The group made up of City, County and Healthcare Officials have established a Unified Command System to provide daily updates as they continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation locally.  Officials confirmed that as of Thursday afternoon there were no confirmed of COVID-19 in Codington County. 

Dr. Dan Rieffenberger of Brown Clinic sits on the task force. Rieffenberger says the criteria to test someone for COVID-19 is they are in a high risk category…..

Dr. Reiffenberger says the guidelines physicians are given for testing someone have been changing rapidly.  Although health-care professionals in the Watertown area can confirm cases have been sent to the lab in Pierre for testing, they can't confirm the total number.

Watertown Mayor Sarah Caron says the city has been able to, so far, balance the CDC guidelines and performing city business as usual……

Some privately owned businesses in Watertown have elected to reduce hours or close completely. The mayor says that without a confirmed COVID-19 case in our area they are recommending that business follow the CDC guidelines…..

As of 4pm on Thursday, March 19th there were still 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 551 negative cases and 385 cases pending at the South Dakota Health Lab.  

Shannon Britt, an Infection Control Nurse with Prairie Lakes Healthcare System, says everyone should take steps to protect themselves. Those steps include washing your hands often, wiping down your work area with sanitizers, stay away from large crowds and don’t touch you eyes, nose or mouth, stay home if you are sick and maintain social distancing.  Britt also says that the CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks for healthy individuals…..

The task force will provide a new update at 3pm Friday afternoon.