South Dakota - COVID-19 Covered

South Dakota

Total Cases: 5,034 (June 2)
Tests Administered: 45,661 (June 1)
Fatalities: 62 (June 2)
  • North and South Dakota’s contact-tracing app, Care19 violates its own privacy policy by sharing citizen location and other personal data with an outside company. (May 21) 
  • Governor Noem stated that 1,500 people have been tested on the first day of a pop-up testing center for employees for Smithfield Foods’ Sioux Falls processing plant. (May 5) 
  • A South Dakota Department of Health report found that more than half of all recorded coronavirus cases involve a person of color. By comparison, the 2019 census found that people of color make up 20% of South Dakota’s population. (April 29) 
  • As of March 26South Dakota had issued 2,144 tests, including 46 positive cases, 1,973 negative cases, and 125 pending cases. (SD DOH) 
  • The South Dakota Public Health Lab is not currently testing asymptomatic individuals. (SD DOH) 


Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Noem issued an executive order temporarily suspending a regulatory provision that limits both the number of participants in group homes and the bedroom capacity for residential homes leased by community-based providers to accommodate more individuals in need. (March 26)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Individuals whose employment has been affected by the pandemic are now eligible for unemployment benefits. (March 30)
  • Businesses have been encouraged to tell sick employees to stay home. (March 19)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Noem extended the state of emergency declaration through the rest of the year. (May 28) 
  • Governor Noem announced in a Fox News interview that she planned to open the Smithfield Foods processing plant “in a matter of days.” (April 27) 
  • South Dakota is expected to receive $1.5 billion in federal funding via the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. (April 20) 
  • Governor Noem signed an executive order that extended the state of emergency declaration until May 31. (April 10) 
  • The South Dakota Secretary of Health declared a public health emergency in Minnehaha County after the area reported 83 more confirmed cases in one day. (April 10)   
  • The state legislature approved an additional $93 million of federal aid for its current fiscal budget. The legislature also allowed any leftover funds to roll over into the 2021 budget. (March 30) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Noem declared that license renewal examinations for various medical professionals have been extended until November 30, 2020. (May 26) 
  • Governor Noem signed an executive order that suspended various regulations – including teacher evaluations, public meetings and drug-related parole violations. (April 8) 
  • The state created a $10.5 million fund for small business loans of up to $75,000 each. (March 30) 


Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • The Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls that had a coronavirus outbreak that infected over 800 people has reopened. (May 20) 
  • Professional Bull Riding will host a live championship event with fans at the Sanford Denny Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from July 10 – 12. It will be the first sporting event to have fans in the United States since the COVID-19 outbreak. (May 19) 
  • On Monday, May 18 Sioux Falls City Hall, the City Center, and Carnegie Town Hall will reopen to the public in limited capacity. (May 15) 
  • Governor Noem is threatening to take the Oglala Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes to Federal Court over their use of COVID-19 checkpoints on roads traveling through their reservations. Sioux leaders stated that the checkpoints are the only way to make sure the virus does not enter their reservations as they do not have the healthcare facilities to treat an outbreak. (May 11) 
  • The capitol of Pierre threw Governor Noem an impromptu parade featuring “literally hundreds of cars” because she refused to close non-essential businesses during the pandemic. (April 29) 
  • Governor Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken requested Smithfield Foods to close its Sioux Falls pork processing plant for 14 days after 238 cases of the virus were reported to be linked to plant workers (April 11) 


• No records found.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • In an interview with “Fox and Friends” Governor Noem stated that South Dakota COVID-19 cases will not peak until mid- June. (May 5) 
  • Governor Noem requests that residents of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties who are 65 and older or have chronic health conditions remain indoors. (April 24) 
  • Park Jefferson International and The New Raceway Park announced that their auto races will continue this weekend without fans in attendance (April 23) 

Delivery Services:

  • On March 23, Gov. Noem issued an executive order encouraging bars and restaurants to consider offering “takeout, delivery, drive-through, curb-side service.” (March 23)



  • Standardized testing requirements and minimum hourly requirements have been lifted for the remainder of the school year. (March 30)
  • The governor has recommended schools remain closed through May 1. (March 24)
  • 90 percent of South Dakota’s school districts are providing meals to children while schools are closed. (SD State News)

State Higher Education:

  • The summer term in South Dakota public universities will also he held online. (April 6) 
  • The South Dakota Board of Regents decided to make no change in tuition or fees for the next academic year. (April 1) 

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