Skip to Main Content

South Dakota: State-by-State COVID-19 Guidance

SOUTH DAKOTA

January 11, 2021:

On December 18, Governor Noem signed Executive Order 2020-34. In this order, Governor Noem extended her previous suspension of certain statutes and administrative rules. Of note, these rules included many certification and licensure requirements for certain healthcare professionals and other professions otherwise subject to licensure requirements.

Governor Noem’s order also terminated Executive Orders 2020-17 (Pork Operations), 2020-23 (Alcoholic Beverage Licensing), and 2020-31 (Opportunity Scholarship Eligibility).

On December 9, Governor Noem signed Executive Order 2020-33, suspending certain regulatory and statutory requirements as follows:

  • Certain statutory provisions which require in person meetings at a physical location
  • The statutory provision which requires schools to conduct teacher and principal evaluations in order to maintain accreditation
  • The regulatory requirement that schools undergo a comprehensive review in order to maintain accreditation

The order states that it shall remain in effect for the duration of the state of emergency unless otherwise terminated or extended.

November 5, 2020:

On September 21, 2020, Gov. Kristi Noem called a special session of the South Dakota Legislature in order to decide how to use a portion of the $1.25 billion in COVID Relief Funds allocated to the state by the CARES Act. On October 5, 2020, the Legislature passed a non-binding resolution recommending how to spend $597 million. The resolution made the following recommendations:

Five of the six recommendations listed above were adopted by Gov. Noem on October 9, 2020, with eligibility for some programs expanded thereafter. The housing assistance recommendation was Adopted by Noem October 22, 2020.

September 21, 2020:

On Friday, September 18, Governor Kristi Noem announced her plan to disperse up to $100 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to community-based healthcare providers. Under the plan, there are two eligibility requirements: (1) the provider rendered services reimbursed by the state’s Medicaid program or other federal or state funding through South Dakota’s Department of Social Services, Department of Corrections, or Department of Human Services; and (2) the provider experienced (and can prove) a “reduction in business” in lost revenue between March-August, 2020, when compared to March-August 2019. The following provider-types are “community-based” for the purposes of the CRF:

  • Nursing Homes and/or Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Residential Treatment Facilities for Youth, i.e. Group Care, Psychiatric Residential Treatment, and Independent Living
  • Senior Nutrition Provider
  • In-home services for the elderly
  • Adult Day Services
  • Assisted Daily Living Services Waiver Providers
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services, i.e. CHOICES Medicaid Waiver, Family Support 360 Medicaid Waiver, Community Training Services, and Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Behavioral Health, including Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health

Providers may apply for the grant from October 12-23, 2020, and funds received must be expended by December 30, 2020.

September 9, 2020:

On September 9, Governor Noem announced $400 million in CARES Act Funding for eligible businesses. To qualify for funding, a business must be located in South Dakota, have at least $50,000 in gross revenue for 2019, and have experienced at least a 25% reduction in business between March and May 2020 due to COVID-19. Businesses may apply to receive up to $100,000 in funding between October 12-23, 2020. Please note any Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) funds or other coronavirus-related money dispersed to an eligible business will be taken into consideration. More information on the framework for this grant is available here.

September 8, 2020:

Before the Labor Day Holiday weekend, Governor Noem announced $75 million in CARES Act Funding for K-12 schools. This equates to about $500 per student. South Dakota’s elementary and secondary schools also received $41 million from the U.S. Department of Education and another $5.7 million from the Governor’s Emergency Relief Funds is earmarked for disbursement.

July 27, 2020:

Today Governor Noem announced the development of UpSkill, a program designed to help workers dislocated as a result of COVID-19. UpSkill consists of 22 online certificate programs in high-demand fields, including business, healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing. Participants can obtain certification at little to no personal cost. The programs will begin this fall at the state’s four technical colleges: Lake Area Technical College in Watertown; Mitchell Technical College in Mitchell; Southeast Technical College in Sioux Falls; and Western Dakota Technical College in Rapid City.

May 10, 2020:

Order 2020-18, which required residents of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties at least 65 years old or with underlying medical conditions to stay home except to engage in essential activities or to report to work at a critical infrastructure, expires tomorrow. Upon the expiration of this order, the residents of those counties are expected to follow Governor Noem’s “Back to Normal” plan, as directed under Order 2020-20, which provides guidance for the state to resume business.

May 8, 2020:

Order 2020-18, which required residents of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties at least 65 years old or with underlying medical conditions to stay home except to engage in essential activities or to report to work at a critical infrastructure, will expire this Monday, May 11, 2020. Governor Noem does not plan to extend the order.

May 4, 2020:

Governor Noem signed Executive Order 2020-22 which took effect on at midnight on Saturday, May 2, 2020. Under this order, state government employees under the direct control of the governor’s office were directed to return to work as directed by their respective agencies’ leadership. The order also indicated work-related out-of-state travel can resume with approval. In sum, the new order rescinded Executive Order 2020-09, which required state employees to work remotely . The new order is set to expire Sunday, May 31, at 11:59 p.m.

As a reminder, Order 2020-18, which required residents of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties at least 65 years old or with underlying medical conditions to stay home except to engage in essential activities or to report to work at a critical infrastructure, will expire one week from today on May 11, 2020.

April 29, 2020:

On April 28, 2020, Governor Kristi Noem signed Order 2020-20, which provides guidance for the state through a “Back to Normal” plan for resuming business as usual. By enacting this order, Governor Noem rescinded Order 2020-12 which required South Dakota businesses to implement the CDC recommendations for employee screenings, staggering shifts, and flexible schedules, offer special shopping times for residents most vulnerable to COVID-19, and suspend or modify business practices which involve ten or more people gathering in an enclosed space where social distancing of at least six feet is not possible. It also encouraged employers to limit non-essential business travel and unnecessary work gatherings and permit employees to work remotely. Finally, Order-2020-12, also ordered schools to close for the remainder of the academic year.

The new plan requires businesses to resume operations which permit social distancing and limited occupancy in enclosed spaces. It also directs employers to begin transitioning remote workers back into the office and require sick employees to remain home. Finally, individual citizens are encouraged to maintain good hygiene, social distancing, and to stay home when sick. The plan or order did not indicate the effective dates.

April 24, 2020:

On April 24, 2020, Governor Kristi Noem signed Order 2020-18, which extended Order 2020-13. Order 2020-13, initially set to expire April 27, did not require the closure of non-essential businesses, but instead required businesses to modify their business operations in order to implement social distancing. It also required the residents of those two counties at least 65 years old or with underlying medical conditions to stay home except to engage in essential activities or to report to work at a critical infrastructure. The order now terminates May 11, 2020.

April 10, 2020:

Governor Kristi Noem extended the duration of Executive Orders 2020-07, 2020-10, and 2020-14, through the enactment of Executive Order 2020-15. The former three orders are now effective until May 31, 2020. As a reminder, order 2020-07 temporarily suspended the regulatory requirements applicable to “overweight vehicles” transporting “relief supplies” for the COVID-19 outbreak; order 2020-10 temporarily suspended the regulatory requirements for group and residential homes, the sale of petroleum products, and teaching certification; and order 2020-14 temporarily suspended regulatory requirements for teacher evaluations and parole violations.

April 7, 2020:

Governor Kristi Noem announced two new executive orders on Monday, April 6. The first, Executive Order 2020-12, rescinded Executive Order 2020-08 and is effective until May 31, 2020. Order 2020-12 requires South Dakota businesses to: (1) implement the CDC recommendations for employee screenings, staggering shifts, and flexible schedules; (2) offer special shopping times for residents most vulnerable to COVID-19; and (3) suspend or modify business practices which involve ten or more people gathering in an enclosed space where social distancing of at least six feet is not possible. The order also encourages employers to limit non-essential business travel and unnecessary work gatherings and permit employees to work remotely. She also announced all schools will remain close for the rest of the school year.

The second order, 2020-13, requires residents of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties over 65 years of age or with underlying medical conditions to stay home unless running essential errands or if the individual works for a critical infrastructure as determined by CISA guidance. The order expires April 27, 2020.

April 3, 2020:

During today’s press conference, Governor Kristi Noem shared she spoke with mayors across the state and encouraged them to work with their local businesses to determine how to best combat the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. She also shared her office updated the state’s Coronavirus webpage include guidance specifically for community leaders to use in evaluating potential business closure decisions.

March 30, 2020:

Governor Kristi Noem held a press conference at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020. When asked whether she is contemplating closing South Dakota businesses as part of the current State of Emergency Declaration, she reiterated her position that she made the decision to not mandate the closure of businesses and instead left such decisions to the local community leaders throughout the state.

Also on Friday, the South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation released a statement advising unemployed residents of the new unemployment application process beginning Monday, March 30, 2020. The new system designates the day of week for residents to apply for unemployment benefits according to their last name: A-F on Monday, G-N on Tuesday, and O-Z on Wednesday. If a resident misses their designated filing day, he or she may file on Thursday or Friday.

(Minnehaha County): The County Commission approved a Coronavirus Resolution on March 27, 2020, to limit community spread of COVID-19. The resolution “encourages” businesses within the county which provide services or consumption of goods on-site, such as restaurants, bars, and cafes, to restrict the number of patrons to ten. According to the resolution, these businesses should instead offer carry-out, delivery, or curbside service. Based on the language of this resolution, it does not appear to be a mandatory directive.

March 25, 2020:

On March 23rd, Governor Kristie Noem signed an Executive Order regarding the global COVID-19 pandemic. It mandated “any enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings” to either cancel or modify its operations if such operations involve ten or more people gathering in an enclosed place without the ability to practice social distancing (i.e, six feet of separation from each other). An “enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings” includes any business within an enclosed space which operates as a bar, restaurant, brewery, café, casino, coffee shop, recreational or athletic facility, health club, or entertainment venue. The order does not call for a complete closure of such businesses; thus, such businesses are allowed to implement alternative business models such as takeout, delivery, drive-through, curb-side services, off-site services, or other models which do not involve individuals gathering in an enclosed place.

Governor Noem’s order also includes mandates for healthcare facilities and government agencies in South Dakota. Healthcare organizations are required to post-pone all non-essential elective surgeries to reduce the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Local and municipal government agencies are prohibited from allowing ten or more individuals to gather unless necessary and are required to protect the operations for businesses within the healthcare, life sciences, and food service industry.

Stay updated.

Subscribe to receive Husch Blackwell’s news and insights.

Select your preferences