Five people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, in South Dakota, according to state officials.

"These cases are all travel-related, and while we wait for the CDC to conduct its test, the department of health staff is working to identify the people who came in close contact with all of these individuals so that we can decrease the spread of this illness throughout the state," Governor Kristi Noem said at a news conference Tuesday.

The presumptive positive results must be verified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Our team has been preparing for this for weeks. I'm confident that we have the right people in the right places to address the situation," Noem added.

The state's emergency operations center will be partially activated.

"Wash your hands frequently and make sure you are staying home if you are sick," Noem emphasized. "I encourage all South Dakotans to take this seriously. Now is the time to prepare, but to also stay informed."

Information about the state's COVID-19 situation is available at As of Tuesday afternoon, there are two possible cases pending test results and 13 people have tested negative.

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