SAB Biotherapeutics

A Sioux Falls-based company plans to go public by merging with a Florida company that it says will raise its enterprise value to $325 million.  

SAB Biotherapeutics gained attention earlier this year for using cattle to produce human antibodies that treat COVID-19. It received more than $100 million from the federal government for that research.  

In the Moment, June 1, 2021 Show 1060.

South Dakota State University's Professor Charles Fenster is an evolutionary biologist and director of the Oak Lake Field Station. He joins us to talk about his upcoming Fulbright scholar research in Norway.

South Dakotans report inconsistent access to quality early childhood learning resources across the state. SDPB's Jackelyn Severin reports on SDPB's Coming Home Survey.

SDPB's Joshua Haiar

March 10, 2021 Show 1005.

SDPB's Joshua Haiar


It was Tuesday,  March 10th, 2020, when Governor Kristi Noem made this announcement:   

“The state’s public health lab has confirmed the first presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the state of South Dakota.”  

She announced five cases tied to out-of-state travel—and the state’s first COVID-related death. It was an introduction to three words that would dominate the year – COVID-19, coronavirus and pandemic.  

Three days later, by March 13th, there were 1,600 cases throughout the United States.   

Debunking COVID-19 Myths & Disinformation

Feb 2, 2021

In The Moment … February 2nd, 2021 Show 983 Hour 1

More than 71,000 South Dakotans have now received one of the approved vaccines to prevent COVID-19. South Dakota is one of the nation's leaders in distribution and administration of available doses, but much work remains in the fight to end the pandemic. Part of that work is dispelling the myths and misinformation about the disease and the vaccine.  

COVID-19 Impact On South Dakota Nonprofits

Jan 26, 2021
NPR / Getty Images

In The Moment … January 26th, 2021 Show 978 Hour 1

Understanding how the pandemic has impacted us here in South Dakota is a vital part of the recovery effort. Today we're looking at some of the trends for nonprofit organizations in the state through the lens of the "COVID-19 Impact on South Dakota Nonprofits Survey Analysis" from Benchmark Data Labs.  Guests: 

Sanford USD Medical Center

In The Moment … December 15, 2020 Show 961 Hour 1

As the vaccine for COVID-19 is making its way into South Dakota, Dr. Hsu is calling it "the shining light at the end of a very dark tunnel." She is increasingly worried about burnout among frontline staff that’s been stretched thin.

Guest: Dr. Jennifer Hsu, infectious disease physician at Sanford USD Medical Center


Your South Dakota COVID-19 numbers update for December 8th, 2020.

SDPB News: COVID Update Dec 7

Dec 7, 2020

Your South Dakota COVID-19 numbers update for December 7th, 2020.

SAB Biotherapeutics

More money is flowing to a South Dakota company that hopes to create a treatment for COVID-19.

SAB Biotherapeutics in Sioux Falls is getting $57.5 million from agencies involved in Operation Warp Speed. That’s the government’s effort to find and fund treatments for the disease.

SDPB News: COVID Update Nov 20

Nov 20, 2020

Your South Dakota COVID-19 numbers update for November 20th, 2020.

Health reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health


State officials still have hundreds of millions in federal pandemic relief money for businesses, nonprofits and healthcare providers, and current grant applications would use less than half of it. 

The state received $1.25 billion in federal relief back in March. There’s about $585 million left unspent or unobligated that Gov. Kristi Noem and legislators want to give out as grants.

State of Vermont

South Dakota’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic has produced contrasting results: one of the nation’s best economic recoveries, and one of the nation’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Governor Kristi Noem’s rejection of statewide shelter-in-place orders, business shutdowns and mask mandates has made her a celebrity in the Republican Party. She campaigned for President Trump in 17 states and touted her own record last month in Maine and New Hampshire. 

COVID Numbers Nov 3

Nov 3, 2020

The state Department of Health reports one-thousand-and- four new South Dakotans have contracted COVID 19. Eight more South Dakotans have died. The latest numbers bring the state’s death toll to 446 individuals. 480 South Dakotans are hospitalized. That’s a sharp increase of 80 people. 

Jackie Hendry

In a normal year, fall is a busy season for Sioux Falls hospitals. This year, they’re struggling under the added weight of COVID-19. 

Local hospital leaders say staff are exhausted and frustrated as they watch many continue business as usual.

As of Monday, more than half of the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations are in the Sioux Falls area.  

Chief Medical Officer Mike Elliott with Avera McKennan hospital confirms patients are two to a room in some cases.  

Covid-19 Update

Nov 2, 2020

In The Moment … November 2, 2020 Show 933 Hour 2

 The number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations has been consistently climbing in South Dakota. Each week since March we have talked with medical professionals trying to stay on top of what we know today that we didn't know before. Dr. Wendell Hoffman is an infectious disease doctor with Sanford Health and has been a frequent guest on this show regarding Covid 19. 

Health reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health

DOH: 28 Possible COVID-19 Reinfections in South Dakota

Oct 28, 2020

State health officials say 28 people in the state might be re-infected with COVID-19. State epidemiologist Josh Clayton says these are people who tested positive for the virus a second time at least 90 days after their first infection.

Dr. Clayton says the Department of Health is classifying these as “possible reinfections.” He says the CDC has not given official guidance on confirming a COVID-19 re-infection.

South Dakota Department of Health

South Dakota health officials are preparing to distribute vaccinations for COVID-19 as early as next month.

It’s unclear if any current trials will have a vaccine available by then, but federal authorities are telling states to get ready. 

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the vaccine will go out in three phases.

The state’s three major health systems and more than two dozen other organizations are partnering to promote masks as a prevention measure against COVID-19.

The phrase "Mask Up SoDak" is unveiled as South Dakota sets a record for COVID hospitalizations.

Though Symptoms May Persist, COVID-19 Reinfection Rare

Oct 27, 2020

The most recent CDC guidance says people can continue to test positive for COVID-19 up to three months after their initial diagnosis. But so far, those people don’t appear to be re-infected with the virus or contagious to others.

Dr. David Basel is the Vice President of Clinical Quality with Avera Medical Group. He says there have been very few instances of COVID-19 re-infection in the country.

Sasha Achilli/FRONTLINE (PBS)

The same medical society that issued a nationwide call for volunteers to New York in the early days of the pandemic is issuing a similar call for South Dakota.

The Society of Critical Care Medicine is the largest nonprofit medical organization focused on intensive care services. Dr. Lewis Kaplan is president of the society and a professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He says the group has sent intensive care volunteers all across the country in response to hurricanes and other disasters. This year, the group is responding to COVID-19.

South Dakota Department of Health

North Dakota is asking people to conduct their own contact tracing as the state’s Department of Health is overwhelmed with new COVID-19 cases.

Here in South Dakota, some doctors are giving similar directions as the Department of Health works to track down close contacts.

Seth Tupper/SDPB

Some local healthcare experts say South Dakota isn’t testing enough people for COVID-19. But the state Department of Health does not have plans to increase its official monthly testing goal. 

Dr. Shankar Kurra is Vice President of Medical Affairs at Monument Health. He says healthcare systems use models to anticipate the level of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the coming months, which can help them anticipate staffing needs and other concerns.  

“If we have the right amount of testing, the numbers tend to be more accurate,” he says. 

New South Dakota COVID & Politics Survey

Oct 21, 2020

In The Moment … October 21, 2020 Show 925 Hour 1

Into the Numbers with Elizabeth Racz

Oct 20, 2020

In The Moment … October 20, 2020 Show 924 Hour 1

Yesterday the state Department of Health reported 567 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. Watching a daily count of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths can numb the mind. But every number tells a story, and the story of the pandemic in South Dakota is not an encouraging one.  Elizabeth Racz Ph.D., is an epidemiologist and public health expert at South Dakota Mines & Technology who teaches in the pre-health and biology program on campus. She returns to In the Moment today to help us further understand those numbers. 

Jackie Hendry

COVID-19 case counts and hospitalization rates in the Sioux Falls area are continuing to rise. Representatives from Sanford and Avera say they need the public’s help to keep them from being overwhelmed.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken maintains his office will not pursue a mask mandate, but he says the need to slow the spread stretches beyond city limits.

Mayor TenHaken has strong words on the issue of masks:

COVID 19 Update with Dr. Shankar Kurra

Oct 19, 2020

In The Moment … October 19, 2020 Show 923 Hour 2

U.S. cases of COVID-19 have increased by nearly 30 percent from two weeks ago. The rate of new infections in South Dakota continues to eclipse that in other states. Now, as the weather cools and we prepare to spend more time indoors, public health officials are warning we may be entering the "darkest days" of the pandemic yet.  Dr. Shankar Kurra is vice president of Medical Affairs at Monument Health and joins us today with the latest.

Health reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health

South Dakota businesses and nonprofits that have been hurt by the pandemic have a short time to apply for their share of $450 million in government grants.

Congress passed the CARES Act pandemic relief bill in March, and state government got $1.25 billion.

About half of the money went unspent through the spring and summer. Ian Fury, spokesman for Gov. Kristi Noem, said there were reasons for that.

On The Other Hand

Oct 8, 2020

In The Moment … October 8, 2020 Show 919 Hour 1

As confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota continue to rise, many people are making tough decisions about staying home, getting tested, and staying isolated from loved ones. Kevin Woster has been living the COVID life after recent exposure to the virus. You can read about his experiences on his blog at  

The Impact of COVID on Rural Households

Oct 7, 2020

In The Moment … October 7, 2020 Show 918 Hour 1

Earlier this week, the South Dakota state legislature met in special session to decide how to spend millions of dollars in CARES Act funding. One of the challenges: How to meet the needs of rural South Dakotans during the pandemic. A new poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reveals more about the challenges facing rural Americans during the pandemic. Dr. Mary Gorski is with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She joins us with details.