South Dakota – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions taken to date. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


South Dakota Department of Health coronavirus resource page.

  • March 5, 2020—Governor Noem and the South Dakota Department of Health commissioned an agency taskforce for coordination and planning with partners and other state agencies, developed an action plan for information management, incident management, and monitoring for persons at risk of infection, among other actions.
  • March 10, 2020—The South Dakota State Department of Health issued guidance to school administrators regarding prevention and mitigation in schools. 
  • March 13, 2020—Governor Noem signed a state of emergency order for South Dakota.
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor activated the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Fund Program in South Dakota to help eligible businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19.
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor and her team are working closely with the U.S. Small Business Administration to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program in South Dakota.  
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor announced that all schools in South Dakota will remain closed for another week.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor announced that she is working with the Small Business Administration to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loan funding to companies negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor extended her executive order directing state employees to continue to telework through the next week and maintaining the ban on state employee work-related travel outside South Dakota.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor issued an Executive Order, urging South Dakotans to practice CDC recommendations and implement social distancing measures; and urging businesses to modify business practices as necessary to comply with CDC guidance.
  • March 25, 2020The Department Of Education issued guidance on child care for health workers and first responders during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor signed House Bill 1295 to allow necessary enforcement of applicable department directives and orders to any person with confirmed coronavirus syndrome, or any disease or condition that is the subject of a declared public health emergency.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor signed House Bill 1298 to postpone any elections scheduled to be held between April 14 and May 26.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor signed Senate Bill 187 amending reemployment assistance benefits.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor signed Senate Bill 189 exempting all school districts from certain state codes for the 2019-2020 school year and waiving nationally standardized achievement tests.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor signed Senate Bill 192, creating the small business economic disaster relief subfund and authorizing the Economic Development Finance Authority to make grants to and provide appropriations of the sub fund.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor updated executive order 2020-12, mandating South Dakotans to comply with CDC hygiene practices, understand the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and implement social distancing measures, among other things.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor issued executive order 2020-13, directing adults over the age of 65 with underlying medical conditions in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties to stay at home.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor issued executive order 2020-14, suspending certain regulations, including:
    • Regulatory provisions governing teacher evaluations;
    • Requirements that a public body conducting a meeting by teleconference provide a physical location for the public to listen; and
    • The provision requiring the Department of corrections to impose certain sanctions for parole violations regarding a positive urinalysis test for a controlled substance.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor announced the launch of the Care 19 app, which will enable South Dakotans to track their movements and assist the Department of Health’s contact tracing efforts.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor announced a partnership with Sanford Health to launch a statewide clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating and preventing POVID-19.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor signed an Executive Order to remove barriers to licensure for healthcare facilities, telehealth, and other regulations.
  • April 20, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 2020-17 removing overstocking restrictions on pork producers, allowing for regulatory flexibility to adapt to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • April 21, 2020 – The Governor and the Office of Economic Development announced the first 94 recipients of Governor Noem’s Small Business Relief Fund, totaling more than $5 million.
  • April 28, 2020 – The Governor announced her “Back to Normal” plan for South Dakotans, providing guidance to individuals, employers, schools, health care providers, and local governments.
  • May 1, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 2020-22, updating guidance to state employees as part of the “Back to Normal” plan.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor sent letters to the Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, requesting checkpoints be removed from State and US highways.
  • May 11, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 2020-23, suspending statutes regarding renewal of certain alcoholic beverage licenses and the submission of financial statements for Deadwood gaming establishments.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor and the Secretary of Health announced a plan to increase testing events over the course of the next four weeks.
  • May 18, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 2020-24, which temporarily suspends the regulatory provision that governs on-site visits of Level IV and Level V trauma hospitals, allowing the Department of Health to grant “provisional” trauma designations.
    • The EO also suspends the statute regarding the annual inspection of funeral establishments.
  • May 26, 2020 – The Governor signed two executive orders:
    • EO 2020-25, which suspends various requirements for state licensing boards; and
    • EO 2020-26, which extends the existing State of Emergency until December 30.
  • June 8, 2020 – The Governor provided an outline of lessons learned from COVID-19.
  • June 9, 2020 – The Governor announced the continuation of increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to address food costs during COVID-19.
  • June 25, 2020 – The Governor announced the use of CARES funding to replenish the South Dakota Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund.