Noem Issues Executive Order Regarding COVID-19 Guidelines

In a press conference held March 23 Governor Kristi Noem announced that she has signed an executive order setting a baseline for decision-making related to the novel coronavirus in South Dakota. 

She said it was done now, "because we do have community spread in South Dakota in several counties."

Noem said that the executive order will provide communities direction in "doing the right thing."

She also said decisions should be based on science, data and facts.

"If a local government wants to go beyond, that is a decision they will make," Noem said.

Governor Kristi Noem's executive order outlining guidelines for all South Dakotans, for-profit and not-for-profit employers, enclosed retail businesses that promote public gatherings, local and municipal governments, and healthcare organizations as it relates to COVID-19 in the state of South Dakota can be read in its entirety below:

The Executive Order reads:

Whereas, An outbreak of the severe respiratory disease, COVID-19, which is caused by and is transmitted by the person-to-person spread of the novel coronavirus, started in late 2019 and has currently been detected in more than 100 countries, including the United States; and,

Whereas, The World Health Organization has designated COVID-19 a pandemic, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared a public health emergency; and,

Whereas, The CDC has issued guidance to state and local governments and all citizens recommending steps to prevent community spread and guard against the COVID-19 outbreak; and,

Whereas, Executive Order 2020-04 declared South Dakota to be in a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and,

Whereas, As members of a community, South Dakotans join together in times of crisis to confront difficult times and help their neighbors:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, KRISTI NOEM, Governor of the State of South Dakota, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of this State, including but not limited to SDCL 34-48A, do hereby Order and Direct the following:

Every South Dakotan should:

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.

5.  Assist those who work in essential jobs such as emergency personnel, medical professionals, and law enforcement.

All employers, both for profit and not-for-profit, within the State of South Dakota should:

6.  Implement the recommended CDC hygiene practices and other business strategies designed to reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease.

7.  Understand that the COVID-19 is not a short-term challenge, and operations will need to endure a difficult and limited social environment for potentially eight weeks or more.

8.  Innovate and continue to demonstrate entrepreneurial excellence in their operations during this difficult and uncertain environment.

9.  Encourage staff to telework if possible, implement social distancing measures, limit unnecessary work gatherings, limit non-essential travel, and consider regular health checks including CDC guidance for COVID-19 screening if possible.

10.  Offer, to the extent possible, special shopping times or access periods for populations particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Any “enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings” within the State of South Dakota should: