PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) used her executive powers to issue what she is calling a baseline for the state to follow as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
This comes as the state announced Monday more cases, models showing 30 percent of the state population could get the virus, community spread in three counties and the pandemic threat across the country is growing.
Noem said she is limited in her powers, and if communities want to take stronger action they can. On Sunday, Beadle County, the city of Huron and Rapid City all ordered restaurants and bars closed, expect to take-out or delivery. Sioux Falls is considering a similar action.
So, what does this executive order meant to the average South Dakotan?
- Nothing enforceable. Everything mentioned begins with “should,” however the governor is encouraging all people, businesses and communities take action
- Employees should create a limited social environment for eight weeks or more and encourage staff to telework if possible
- Noem called on stores to create a special shopping period for populations at-risk to COVID-19
- Any Bar, restaurant, brewery, cafe, casino, coffee shop, recreational or athletic facility, health club, or entertainment venue should limit to less than 10 people in one place
- Noem encourages restaurants to offer takeout, delivery or drive-thru
- She is calling on healthcare organizations to prepare for a surge of patients and postpone all elective surgeries to conserve masks and other personal protective equipment
The order doesn’t apply to the Native American reservations in South Dakota.
In a separate executive order, the governor also suspended some regulations related to telehealth and telemedicine, medication, medical assistance programs, allowing medical licenses to cross state lines and removing weight restrictions for vehicles with relief supplies.
Noem said she will address education and state workers on Tuesday. There is a briefing scheduled for 11:30 a.m.