Yankton County classified at risk of community spread of COVID-19; Vermillion order closes some businesses
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Yankton County classified at risk of community spread of COVID-19; Vermillion order closes some businesses

Stock Virus COVID-19 coronavirus

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February shows the virus that causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. 

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in southeast South Dakota continued to grow Monday, as the state health department classified Yankton County as being minimal to moderate risk for community spread of the novel coronavirus.

The city of Vermillion, meanwhile, issued an emergency ordinance Monday that suspends the on-site consumption of food and beverages at restaurants, bars, food courts, coffeehouses and similar businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The move came as the South Dakota Department of Health on Monday reported a new case of coronavirus in Clay County, bringing the total to three.

Clay borders Yankton County, which reported its first four cases of novel coronavirus cases over the weekend.

On Friday, Union County became the first county in the far southeast corner of South Dakota to report a confirmed case. 

Yankton County was classified as having minimal to moderate community spread after a state Department of Health investigation found one of the individuals who tested positive had not traveled or had contact with another confirmed case, said department spokesman Derrick Hopkins. 

Last week, the city of Yankton enacted an emergency ordinance similar to the one Vermillion issued Monday. 

Vermillion's measure, which takes effect for 60 days, limits public gatherings to no more than 10 people. Dine-in consumption at restaurants and bars is prohibited but the businesses can provide take-out and delivery, curbside and drive-thru service.

Under the ordinance, hair and nail salons, barber shops, spas, massage facilities, video lottery casino operations, bowling alleys, theaters and music or entertainment venues, and all recreational facilities, public pools, and health clubs were required to temporarily close. Grocery stores and some other businesses are allowed to remain open.

"It is important that control measures be taken to reduce or slow down the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect the health and safety of the City's residents, especially for seniors and those with underlying health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19," according to Vermillion's ordinance.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in South Dakota now stands at 101, with one death attributed to the virus.

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The county was classified as having minimal to moderate community spread Monday after the state Department of Health investigation found one of the individuals who tested positive had not traveled or had contact with another confirmed case.

This is according to state-specific estimates from the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation, a University of Washington program cited by White House coronavirus advisers this week as being in line with the Trump administration’s predictions.

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