Gov. Noem issues state of emergency for South Dakota


Gracie Terrall, Copy Editor

In an executive order from March 23, Gov. Noem issued a state of emergency for the state of South Dakota.

Noem held a press conference addressing questions on the order. In the conference, she stressed that, if businesses wished to remain open, they are to adhere to the following guidelines: 

“1. Review and practice the recommended CDC hygiene practices designed to stop the spread of the disease COVID-19 and encourage others to do so as well.

2. Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, call a health care provider if suffering symptoms in advance of a visit to a provider, and stay at home if sick.

3. Understand that those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, including those over age 60 and those suffering from respiratory or cardiac conditions, should take extra precautions and remain home if possible.

4. Implement social distancing measures and support businesses who are adjusting their business model to reduce the spread of COVID-19″

Currently, there is “community spread” in three South Dakota counties: Lyman, Hughes and Beadle. 

“If the case is not related to travel or contact with another positive case … that means it is community spread,” Kim Malsam-Rysdon, South Dakota Secretary of Health, said. 

According to Malsam-Rysdon, the positive case in Hughes county is an inmate in the women’s prison. 

In response to the positive case in Hughes county, the county which contains the capitol building, the legislative staff is currently walking through options for Veto Day, March 30.

Malsam-Rysdon also stated that both Sanford Health and Avera Health hospitals have confirmed their labs are now equipped for testing. With the increase of commercial labs within the state, people should expect test results to come back sooner. 

However, Malsam-Rysdon stressed that the state of South Dakota does not have enough tests for everyone. Those with concerns should follow the recommendations of their healthcare providers on whether or not to get tested. 

During the conference, Noem confirmed that within her power, she can only provide guidance to local businesses. It is the responsibility of local governments to create policies that can be mandated and enforced. 

“I’ll continue to tell the state what I think they should be doing and will give that type of guidance,” Noem said. 

Tuesday, March 24 Gov. Noem will address the future for state employees and K12 education.