South Dakota - COVID-19 Covered

South Dakota

Total Cases: 124,356 (June 14)
Tests Administered: 428,129 (March 6)
Fatalities: 2,026 (June 14)
Testing:
  • The South Dakota Department of Health, in partnership with Vault Health, Inc., is now offering convenient at-home COVID-19 testing kits, available to all South Dakota residents at no cost to them. The saliva-based test can be requested by visiting the Health Department website or by clicking HERE, and is geared towards people who have had close contact(s) with confirmed positive cases. (December 11) 
  • The South Dakota Department of Health, in partnership with the South Dakota National Guard and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will provide drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Rapid City,  November 20 – 23. (November 16)  
  • The South Dakota Department of Healthin partnership with the South Dakota National Guard and Office of Emergency Management, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Serviceswill provide drive-through COVID-19 testing in ten South Dakota communities over the next two weeks. (November 6)  
  • You can find your closest South Dakota COVID-19 testing site here. 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

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:

  • Governor Noem announced that $10 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) has been awarded to the South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) to assist South Dakotans who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and need help paying their housing expenses. (October 22) 
  • Child care providers in South Dakota are set to receive a second financial boost of more than $5 million in additional grant awards from the Department of Social Services (DSS) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (September 28)  
  • 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:

  • Governor Noem announced updates to expand the Small Business and Healthcare Provider Relief Program, which utilizes Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars to assist small businesses, community-based healthcare providers, and non-profits negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 22) 
  • Governor Noem announced the launch of the Small Business & Healthcare Provider Relief Program, which will utilize up to $580 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars to assist small businesses, community-based healthcare providers, and non-profits negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 9 
  • Governor Noem laid out a framework for up to $100 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to assist South Dakota’s community-based healthcare providers in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (September 18 
  • Governor Noem laid out a framework for up to $400 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to assist South Dakota’s small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (September 9) 
  • The South Dakota Arts Council has awarded $422,800 in grants supported by the National Endowment for the Arts through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to 60 arts and cultural organizations. (September 4 
  • The state created a $10.5 million fund for small business loans of up to $75,000 each. (March 30) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • The South Dakota Department of Health announced that adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccination statewide. (May 12) 
  • The South Dakota Department of Health announced the state would resume Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration. (April 26) 
  • Beginning April 5, COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to any state resident 16 years of age or older. (March 31) 
  • The South Dakota Department of Health announced that Group E of the state’s Phase 1 priority group would now be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (March 22) 
  • The South Dakota Department of Health announced that the remainder of those in priority group D – teachers, childcare workers, college staff, college students living in dormitories, and funeral workers – would now be eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine through Phase I vaccinators. (March 10) 
  • The COVID-19 vaccination eligibility age in South Dakota has been lowered to 65. (February 22) 
  • Beginning February 22, COVID-19 vaccinations will be open to residents 65 years of age and older. (February 17) 
  • The South Dakota Department of Health announced the release of a web-based tool to help residents best identify which priority vaccination group they fall under in the state’s vaccination plan. (February 3 
  • The South Dakota Department of Health released a volunteer registration portal where residents from across the state can register to assist with COVID-19 vaccination efforts. (January 27 
  • The South Dakota Department of Health and its health partners across the state will start vaccinating a prioritized population group of the state’s vaccination plan on January 18. (January 13 
  • The South Dakota Department of Health released a county-by-county map linking residents to the healthcare systems charged in overseeing vaccine distribution and administration in their area and an estimated timeline of vaccine availability, depending on which priority group (A-E) they belong to in accordance to Phase 1 of South Dakota’s vaccination plan. (January 6 
  • The South Dakota Department of Health announced that all three major healthcare networks in the state had received their first batch of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. (December 15) 
  • Governor Noem extended the state of emergency declaration through the rest of the year. (May 28) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Noem announced the launch of K-12 Connect, a program to provide internet service at no cost to eligible K-12 students in their homes for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. (October 27)  
  • Governor Noem announced that public and private schools in South Dakota will receive an additional $75 million, or $500 per student, in new funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). (September 3)  
  • Governor Noem signed Executive Order 2020-31, which suspends requirements for Opportunity Scholarship applicants who did not have the chance to take an ACT test this previous spring or summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 25)  The South Dakota
  • Department of Education has developed a toolkit to help families prepare for the 2020-21 school year. (August 18)  
  • 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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