South Dakota - COVID-19 Covered

South Dakota

Total Cases: 9,815 (August 12)
Tests Administered: 122,409 (August 10)
Fatalities: 147 (August 12)
  • You can find your closest South Dakota COVID-19 testing site here. 


Essential Service Designations:

  • South Dakota has not classified specific businesses as “essential.” (May 21)  

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Noem announced the launch of UpSkill, a program consisting of 22 online certificate programs in high-demand fields, including business, healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing to support workers dislocated by COVID-19. The programs will begin this fall at the state’s four technical colleges. (July 27 
  • South Dakota’s “Back to Normal” plan released reopening guidelines for enclosed retail businesses; “Resume operations in a manner that allows for reasonable physical distancing, good hygiene, and appropriate sanitation; Consider restricting occupancy and continue innovating in this uncertain environment.” (Link 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has filed a lawsuit against the federal government in order to preserve their COVID-19 testing checkpoints on the South Dakota-Reservation border. In May, Governor Noem ordered the removal of the checkpoints as they allegedly violated state and federal powers. When the Tribe did not comply, Governor Noem requested assistance from several federal officials including the White House Chief of Staff and Department of Interior Secretary. (June 25) 
  • South Dakota cities will receive $200 million in federal COVID-19 funds. (June 22)  
  • South Dakota is expected to receive $1.5 billion in federal funding via the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. (April 20) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • The state created a $10.5 million fund for small business loans of up to $75,000 each. (March 30) 



  • Sioux City Hall is expected to reopen to the public June 22. (June 17) 
  • Governor Noem extended the state of emergency declaration through the rest of the year. (May 28) 



  • South Dakota’s “Back to Normal” plan released reopening guidelines for enclosed schools. The plan encourages the continuation of remote learning, a limited return to in-person instruction before the school year ends, and promotes strong sanitation practices, especially in high-traffic areas. (August 3)

State Higher Education:

  • A list of South Dakota universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • The State’s six public universities will begin their fall semesters on August 19 and conclude classroom instruction by Thanksgiving and complete final exams remotely after the holiday. (June 3) 

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