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.

Hay Camp Brewing Co.

Hope was running high for the Jaimes family five months ago when they opened their La Luna Café in Sioux Falls. 

The winter months were tough, but as the weather improved, so did business. 

COVID-19 Questions With Dr. Hoffman

Mar 30, 2020
Sanford Health

In The Moment ... March 30, 2020 Show 784 Hour 1

South Dakota Public Broadcasting welcomes your questions about coronavirus and the disease it causes COVID-19. You can text your questions to 605-956-SDPB. Email us at Today Dr. Wendell Hoffman returns to the problem to answer some of the questions we've gathered so far. He's a specialist in infectious diseases from Sanford Health. 

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

Legal Services During A Pandemic

Mar 30, 2020

In The Moment ... March 30, 2020 Show 784 Hour 1

COVID-19 has us rethinking how we work, learn, and access medical services. We're also hearing questions from listeners about a variety of legal services. Neil Fulton is Dean of the School of Law at the University of South Dakota. 

Artists And COVID-19: Anna Robinson

Mar 30, 2020
Anna Robinson

Many small businesses are reeling from the economic effects of the pandemic. The impact can be especially hard for new ventures. 

Anna Robinson, creates digital work with her husband. 

“Primarily filmmaker, songwriter slash composer. But I also do graphic design and meet other media work to bring in income, you know.”


They started their home-business Open Space Creative last October to offer services to clients in the area. 


Avera Now Testing In-House

Mar 27, 2020

In The Moment ... March 27, 2020 Show 783 Hour 2

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, testing has been key to slow the spread of COVID-19. It's also become key to a certain peace of mind for South Dakotans. Today we're talking about coronavirus testing done in-house at Avera and how the health system was poised to respond to the need because of existing infrastructure and expertise.

Gareth Davies, Ph.D. is the Chief Scientific Officer at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics, and Dr. Michelle Bleile is the Medical Director for the Avera Institute for Human Genetics.

SAB Makes Progress On Therapeutic

Mar 27, 2020

In The Moment ... March 27, 2020 Show 783 Hour 2

Eddie Sullivan is President & CEO of SAB Therapeutics in Sioux Falls. He joins us for a look at research into COVID-19 therapeutics. 

Science and Technology reporting is brought to you by SDN Communications, your business broadband provider. Learn more at


Josh Haiar/SDPB

The coronavirus pandemic has driven unemployment claims to all-time highs in the state and nation.  

Last week, 1,703 people filed claims for unemployment assistance in South Dakota. That’s almost nine times more than the previous week, when there were 190 claims.

Roughly 100 high-risk cancer patients and 12 healthcare providers may have been exposed to COVID-19 in Rapid City.

A Monument Health caregiver tested positive for the disease after recently traveling outside of the state. 

The Meade County resident’s test result came back positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Monument Health President and CEO Paulette Davidson says the health system immediately enacted protocol to protect their employees and patients.  

For small businesses wondering how to get money from the $2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue package, the answer is at local banks. 

The congressional deal was struck Wednesday. It includes a reported $350 billion for loans to businesses with 500 or fewer employees.  

Yankton's Plans

Mar 25, 2020

In The Moment ... March 25, 2020 Show 781 Hour 1

SDPB is inviting representatives of cities and counties across South Dakota to join us to discuss the COVID-19 plans for their communities. And we're also asking listeners from those communities what questions they would like to hear answered.  Today we take a look at how COVID-19 is impacting the City of Yankton and Yankton County. Paul Scherschligt is the director of Yankton County Emergency Management​, and Amy Leon is the city manager.  


Dealing With Pandemic Anxiety

Mar 25, 2020
Josh Haiar

In The Moment ... March 25, 2020 Show 781 Hour 2

If you are feeling more anxiety than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. Emilia Flint Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology at Black Hills State University, has several tips to help us cultivate calm in our lives.

With recommendations to stay at home because of the pandemic, it’s tough for elderly people to keep stocked up on household supplies. To help, volunteers in Rapid City are putting care packages together.

Sunny Red Bear and her partner are delivering supplies to seniors in predominantly Native communities. 

“We’re starting in Lakota Homes and after today we’ll reach about 55 homes so far.” 

Their project started about a week ago. Packages include canned goods, grooming and cleaning supplies. 

The number of COVID-19 cases in South Dakota will increase in the coming months. As a result, Governor Kristi Noem has released an executive order recommending business and community responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

The order is not a legal mandate, even though state law gives the governor such authority during an emergency.

Governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order establishing that every South Dakota business and government agency should adhere to important public health guidelines.

Deadwood, SD

More than a thousand people who work in Deadwood’s gaming industry could soon be out of work. 

Governor Says Schools Should Stay Closed Until May

Mar 24, 2020

Governor Noem recommends that all k-12 school districts remain closed until early May. She says that course of action offers consistency in the approach to educating South Dakota students during the pandemic. 

The governor says she’s open to reevaluate school closings in May. But until then, schools are closed.

News Special: Rep Johnson & COVID-19 In Huron

Mar 24, 2020

Congressman Dusty Johnson joins us today for an update on Congressional efforts to blunt the impact of the coronavirus in the U.S., we hear from Huron, the largest city in Beadle County, which currently has more coronavirus cases than any other county in South Dakota, The Secretary of South Dakota's Department of Tourism joins us for a look at the impact of COVID-19 on the travel and arts industry, and much more in this "In the Moment" news special. 

Hagen Talks State Of SD Tourism Industry

Mar 24, 2020

In The Moment ... March 24, 2020 Show 780 Hour 2

An Expert's Take On The Numbers

Mar 24, 2020

In The Moment ... March 24, 2020 Show 780 Hour 1

Beadle County: The Epicenter Of COVID-19 In SD

Mar 24, 2020

In The Moment ... March 24, 2020 Show 780 Hour 1

We're checking in with communities across the state about how coronavirus is impacting them. We begin in Huron, the largest city in Beadle County. Beadle Country currently has more cases than any other county in South Dakota, despite having a much smaller population than some of the others.

COVID-19's Impact On Holy Week

Mar 24, 2020

In The Moment ... March 24, 2020 Show 780 Hour 1

Congregations across the state are adjusting to online worship and congregational care from a distance. For Christians, the coronavirus pandemic comes during the Lenten journey and will impact Holy Week, the week that leads up to Easter Sunday. Bishop Constanza Hagmaier leads the South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. She joins us with thoughts on moving forward when so much has changed. 

City of Rapid City

People across the nation are debating the appropriate balance between economic and public health responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and a local version of the debate went public Sunday in Rapid City. 

State of South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem said the state is adding more staff and phone lines to its unemployment call center because of increased claims resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Collins Provost

Covid-19 is especially dangerous to elderly people and public health officials say they should stay at home as they can. Volunteers in Rapid City are taking traditional remedies to Lakota elders, to cleanse their space and boost their immune system. 


Collins Provost and her family gather plants that are Native to the Black Hills and use them for traditional Lakota medicine.