Test Kit Shortages To Drive-Through Testing

Apr 9, 2020

In The Moment ... April 9, 2020 Show 792 Hour 2

Coronavirus testing has been at the center of pandemic response in the United States since the first case of COVID-19 was detected. From test kit shortages to drive-through testing sites, we've seen what's available to South Dakotans evolve. Now there's a new story to tell. 

Josh Haiar/SDPB

New claims for unemployment benefits continue to rise in South Dakota as the coronavirus spreads. 

There were 7,916 unemployment filings in South Dakota last week. It was the third consecutive week of record claims from pandemic-related job losses.  

State residents have filed a total of more than 16,000 unemployment claims since the pandemic’s impact on the economy first showed up in the numbers during mid-March. 

Minnehaha County—which includes most of Sioux Falls—accounts for more than half of the state’s COVID-19 cases. State and city officials have identified a hot-spot of coronavirus transmission, but won’t publicly identify it. 

Mayor Paul TenHaken says the state identifies hot spots and then works with the city public health departments on mitigation efforts. 

“There is a spot in Minnehaha County that we’re working very closely with the state. I’m not gonna name a business or an organization," says TenHaken, "but we are working with one employer specifically."

Dakota Political Junkies

Apr 8, 2020

In The Moment ... April 8, 2020 Show 791 Hour 2

Mayor Paul Aylward & PIO Mark Johnson

Apr 8, 2020

In The Moment ... April 8, 2020 Show 791 Hour 1

Juniper restaurant

March was supposed to be a joyous new beginning for Matthew and Alexis Sullivan. 

They had decided to relocate their Rapid City restaurant, called Juniper, more than a year earlier. They found a new space that needed remodeling, and they got to work. 

Alexis said it was a long year. 

SDPB News: April 7

Apr 7, 2020

The SDPB News Podcast is where we bring you South Dakota's top news and politics headlines from the past 24 hours.

Each day, SDPB's journalism team works to bring you pertinent news coverage. We then compile those stories into one neatly formatted daily podcast so that you can stay informed. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify today.

Nature Reclaiming Its Space

Apr 7, 2020

In The Moment ... April 7, 2020 Show 790 Hour 1

The coronavirus pandemic has nature reclaiming its space. People from all over the world have been asked to decrease their activity which means animals and their activity are more visible to us, often in surprising ways. Stephanie Arne is an explorer and wildlife presenter. She is the founder of the Creative Animal Foundation.


SD 1 Of 5 States Without A Stay-At-Home Order

Apr 7, 2020

In The Moment ... April 7, 2020 Show 790 Hour 1

South Dakota is one of five states in the country without a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And despite requests, the South Dakota Department of Health has not declared a public health emergency. 

Governor Kristi Noem has been hesitant to employ a statewide declaration. Instead, she's opting for executive orders that leave some local government leaders unclear about their authority. SDPB's Lee Strubinger reports:

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

All K-12 schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year. Governor Kristi Noem says it doesn’t make sense to bring students back to their classrooms in light of current projections of COVID-19 infections.

The governor says the state Department of Education will continue working with school administrators on distance learning through the end of the year. 

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender is encouraged that the state’s three major healthcare systems support state data on the spread of coronavirus. 

Representatives from Sanford, Avera, and Monument Health joined Governor Noem last week when she shared the state’s projections. The numbers include how many ICU beds and ventilators the state will need when it reaches peak infection rates.

On SDPB’s In the Moment program, Allender says having a unified model is important in a state known for individuality.

Governor Noem has issued an executive order that urges some citizens in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties to stay home for the next three weeks. The request includes adults over 65 and people with chronic conditions to limit their exposure to the coronavirus. 

Noem says data shows these people are at greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Deadwood Gaming Association

Deadwood casino operators hoping for emergency payroll loans from Congress have received some bad news: They’re not eligible, at least for now. 

COVID-19 Update With Dr. Thury

Apr 6, 2020

In The Moment ... April 6, 2020 Show 789 Hour 1

More is known now regarding the pandemic than just 3 weeks ago. What needs to happen in the days ahead to stay on top of this? At this point what do citizens need to know about coronavirus?  Dr. Chad Thury is  Regional Director of Clinical Quality and Family Medicine Physician with Avera. He joins us today with the latest.


Education and Healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health of Rapid City

Pharmacy Services at Lewis Drug

Apr 6, 2020

In The Moment ... April 6, 2020 Show 789 Hour 1

Pharmacies across South Dakota have been feeling the effects of coronavirus. The efforts to fill prescriptions in a timely manner have been tested. Several facets of the pharmacy departments across the state have been challenged. Jessica Strobl is director of pharmacy services at Lewis Drug, she joins us today to discuss how COVID 19 has affected what she and her staff do.


Education and Healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health of Rapid City

City of Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken is issuing what he calls a “Safer at Home” proclamation to curb the spread of the coronavirus. More than half of the state’s total COVID-19 cases are in and around the city.   

The proclamation includes guidelines for businesses and families. It encourages residents to stay at home and limit grocery store visits to one trip a week from one household member. In line with the most recent CDC guidelines, the proclamation also encourages anyone over two years old without breathing difficulties to wear cloth masks in public.

State health officials are reluctant to address questions about the projected death rates for COVID-19. They say infection rates, mitigation efforts, and other factors make it difficult to predict, but they outlined the formula they are using. 

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the department’s projections focus on predicting hospital capacity needs, but she notes previous estimates of death rates from COVID-19.

“That ranges from 0.5 to 3 percent of positive cases.”

State of South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem says the number of COVID-19 cases in South Dakota may peak in the middle of June.

That’s based on current projections and state actions so far.

Models show the state will need 5-thousand hospital beds when COVID-19 hits its peak. The projection also estimates the state will need 1,300 ventilators. Governor Noem says they are working now to get more ventilators.

South Dakota is one of five states without a stay at home order. The other are North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Arkansas.

Governor Kristi Noem is activating the National Guard to help hospitals respond to cases of COVID-19. The guard will build supplemental medical facilities in Sioux Falls and Rapid City before expanding to other parts of the state.

The governor says efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus have provided more time to prepare for a surge of potential cases. But ultimately the state will need more hospital beds. 

News: Sen Thune & Mar 28 - Apr 2

Apr 2, 2020

We talk with Senate Majority Whip John Thune, hear a veteran politics reporter's take on Governor Noem's leadership and more in this week's In the Moment news podcast.

Find us on: AppleSpotify, and Google Play

COVID-19 Community Impact Project

Apr 2, 2020

In The Moment ... April 2, 2020 Show 787 Hour 2

How are South Dakotans responding to the threat of COVID-19? A new statewide survey seeks to quantify our concern, our behavior, and our willingness to keep up drastic measures to slow the spread of the pandemic. 

John Thune's Message To South Dakotans

Apr 2, 2020

In The Moment ... April 2, 2020 Show 787 Hour 1

U.S. Senator John Thune is the Senate Majority Whip, the second-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate. He recently returned to South Dakota feeling flu-like symptoms. Since then he has tested negative for COVID-19. 

He joins us now from his home in Sioux Falls. 

Watch the full interview here.

Josh Haiar/SDPB

For the second week in a row, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing a record number of South Dakotans onto unemployment rolls. 

There were 6,645 claims for unemployment assistance filed last week in South Dakota. That’s the most-ever in the available data from the U.S. Department of Labor, which goes back to 1987. 

Cara Hetland / SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem has already issued a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus. But many are waiting for her to declare a public health emergency. 

That distinction is frustrating local leaders—especially after lawmakers defeated a bill that would have granted more specific authorities during a public health emergency. 

A state of emergency gives the governor more flexibility to work with federal partners. It also triggers certain state resources. For instance, the governor declared a state of emergency last year to help responses during major flooding. 

South Dakota lawmakers have added another option for small-business owners who need help getting through the coronavirus pandemic. 


In The Moment ... March 31, 2020 Show 785 Hour 2

News Special: Veto Day & Pandemic Impacts

Mar 31, 2020

In this In the Moment news special, we hear a recap of South Dakota's first digital Veto Day and the actions brought up to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, the impacts of the pandemic on the legal world, the South Dakota economy, med students, and more. 

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What About Our Animals?

Mar 31, 2020

In The Moment ... March 31, 2020 Show 785 Hour 1

In the midst of a pandemic, we humans are very concerned. Those same humans also have to be thoughtful of those around them whether they have 2 legs or perhaps 4. The question is how does the coronavirus affect our pets, our livestock or the farm animals? Joining us with insight is South Dakota's state veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven. 

Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

South Dakota lawmakers are passing a bill that broadens the governor’s power in times of disaster or emergencies.

The bill is meant to define the governor’s role in addressing the COVID-19 outbreak. Lawmakers added an amendment that prohibits the government from closing gun stores and includes other gun rights related provisions.

As the number of COVID-19 cases reach 100, including one state lawmaker, legislators are passing a bill that eases licensing timelines for licensed professionals and suspend the letting process for state contracts.

Lawmaker Reject Expanding Secretary Of Health Authority

Mar 30, 2020
Cara Hetland / SDPB

South Dakota House lawmakers are rejecting a proposal that would allow the Secretary of Health to order public and private locations to shutdown as a means to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The bill was introduced on the governor’s behalf, but that office is okay with the rejection.
The bill grants the authority to the Secretary of Health to order the closure of businesses, parks, schools and other locations that promote public gathering. The CDC recommends gatherings of no more than ten people at a time.