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Gov. Noem Announces SD will Be First State with a Hydroxychloroquine Statewide Clinical Trial to Help Fight COVID-19

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that South Dakota, with Sanford Health leading the effort, will be the first state with a comprehensive, statewide clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating and preventing COVID-19.

“From day one, I’ve said we’re going to let the science, facts, and data drive our decision-making in South Dakota,” said Noem. “Throughout last week, I communicated with White House officials to let them know that South Dakota’s medical community was ready to step up and lead the way on research efforts. I made direct requests to President Trump and Vice President Pence to supply us with enough hydroxychloroquine so that it could be made available for every hospitalized person the state may have as well as for those healthcare workers on the frontlines and those in the most vulnerable populations.

“Today, I’m pleased to report we have received the initial doses we need, and thanks to the leadership of Sanford Health and the assistance of the medical teams at Avera and Monument Health, we’re going to be the first state in the nation to do a comprehensive clinical trial to assess whether hydroxychloroquine can treat and perhaps even prevent COVID-19.”

“I want to thank the Sanford Health team for bringing their expertise and innovation to the table to help drive new and better treatments for this virus. Our state’s health care leaders have collaborated with my administration throughout this fight, and I’m so proud that they are willing to respond to this unprecedented challenge by leading the national research efforts as well.”

“The healthcare community in South Dakota consistently works together with the state for the benefit of all our patients,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, South Dakota’s Secretary of Health. “I am excited patients across the state will have access to this drug, and we will learn more about its benefits in treating and even preventing COVID-19.”

Sanford Health, the largest provider of rural healthcare in the country, aided by Avera and Monument Health will treat up to 100,000 people including outpatient and hospitalized patients with COVID-19, in addition to frontline healthcare workers, and high-risk individuals who have been exposed to the virus. 

To learn more about South Dakota’s fight against COVID-19, visit

Press Release from Governor Noem’s office



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