Governor Kristi Noem

Governor Kristi Noem speaks behind a podium in front of state representatives
State of South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem says the state will follow Centers for Disease Control guidance on policy decision surrounding COVID-19.

The CDC recommends people wear cloth face covering in public settings when around people outside their household, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Noem, however, says the science is mixed on their ability to slow the spread of the disease.

On Friday, thousands of attendees waited hours for a glimpse at the sitting president of the United States and the return of fireworks at Mount Rushmore.

The event was billed as a celebration and is one of the largest gatherings of Americans since the coronavirus pandemic reached the country.

Fireworks explode over Mount Rushmore and attendees sit in awe, capturing video of the spectacle as patriotic music blares from an immaculate stage at the base of the national monument.

"Back to Normal Long-Term Care Reopening Plan"

Jun 25, 2020
Good Samaritan Society

In The Moment … June 25, 2020 Show 846 Hour 1

Governor Kristi Noem has released her "Back to Normal Long-Term Care Reopening Plan." The multi-phase guidelines are used by nursing homes and assisted living facilities to shape policies for keeping residents safe during the pandemic.  Nate Schema is the executive vice president and COO of the Good Samaritan Society. He joins us to talk about the potential application of the plan in South Dakota facilities. 

Health reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health of Rapid City

 

News: Jun 13 - 19

Jun 19, 2020
SDPB

In this weeks podcast we get a COVID-19 update, hear about the issues with having a newborn during the pandemic, and a couple Political Junkies breakdown the top headlines from the week.

John Nguyen / SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem says the state has resources pre-staged in cities across South Dakota to respond if any planned protests get out of hand.

Meanwhile, the governor is calling on governing bodies and community leaders to have discussions on policing policies.

Governor Noem says her office is looking at resources and tools available to her to address what’s happening across the state and country following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.

Noem says she’s open to solutions

Governor Kristi Noem

May 14, 2020

In The Moment … May 14, 2020 Show 817 Hour 2

As the rest of the nation seeks ways to reopen the economy, South Dakotans were never on a statewide shelter-in-place order or lockdown. Many business owners and faith community leaders are seeking CDC and South Dakota Department of Health guidance to inform and support their individual decisions about what "Back to Normal" looks like. Governor Kristi Noem is with us today. 

Kevin Woster: Gov Noem & The Press

May 7, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment … May 7, 2020 Show 812 Hour 1

Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem says a special session in June is unlikely.
 
That’s when the state will report April tax collections—when economic activity across the country slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Noem says she anticipates a serious budget shortfall because of the virus.
 
She says all options are on the table, including dipping into reserves.
 

SDPB

Some employees of the Smithfield meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls are back at work. A COVID-19 outbreak shut the plant down in mid-April. More than a thousand cases are connected to the plant. At one point it had the largest cluster of cases in the nation. 

Governor Kristi Noem says President Trump’s executive order to keep meatpacking plants open puts federal departments in charge of overseeing Smithfield’s operations. 

Office of Governor Kristi Noem

A new national poll asks people how they feel their governor is handling the COVID-19 response.
 
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and President Donald Trump each have approval ratings below 50 percent.
 
However, researchers say there’s a wide margin of error.
 

Political Junkies: The "Back to Normal" Plan

Apr 29, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment ... April 28, 2020 Show 806 Hour 2

Sanford Research On Hydroxychloroquine

Apr 17, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment ... April 17, 2020 Show 798 Hour 1

This week, Governor Kristi Noem joined South Dakota Public Broadcasting for an hour-long conversation about Sars-CoV2 and COVID-19 in South Dakota. We asked for your questions, and you responded. Many of those questions were about hydroxychloroquine and the statewide clinical trial of the anti-malarial drug on South Dakotans. Joining us for more on the clinical trials, we welcome Lora Black, senior director of Clinical Research, Sanford Research. 

 

Office of Governor Kristi Noem

Governor Kristi Noem continues to defend her decision not to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.
 
She says more South Dakotan’s are staying at home than in some states that require it.

South Dakota is one of eight states without a stay-at-home order.

Noem says any order she puts in place needs to be sustainable for a period of time. In the past, she’s suggested a stay-at-home order could have to last until October.

The number of COVID-19 cases among Smithfield workers at the Sioux Falls meatpacking plant continues to rise. The plant now accounts for 44% of the state’s COVID-19 cases.

Governor Kristi Noem is denying Sioux Falls mayor Paul TenHaken’s requests for a state-led response to the spike in cases.  

The situation is getting national attention and furthering criticism of Governor Kristi Noem’s refusal to issue a statewide stay-at-home order. 

The governor continues to defend her decision.

fda.gov

South Dakota is launching the first statewide trial of a possible treatment for COVID-19 in the nation. The trial drug typically treats malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.   

President Donald Trump has pointed to hydroxychloroquine as a potential therapeutic for COVID-19, though its effectiveness has not yet been confirmed.

Governor Noem says she’s been asking the president and other members of his administration to allow South Dakota to launch a statewide trial. This weekend, the state received a shipment of the drug.

Smithfield Foods is closing its Sioux Falls meatpacking plant indefinitely after hundreds of its employees contracted COVID-19. Over the weekend, Governor Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken asked the company to close the plant for at least two weeks. 

Smithfield had already announced a three-day closure through Monday to sanitize the plant and add physical barriers. On Saturday, Governor Noem requested the company to follow the recommended 14-day isolation period for potential COVID-19 exposure.

fda.gov

Gov. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken want Smithfield Foods to close its Sioux Falls meatpacking plant for two weeks. The plant is in Minnehaha County, which reports 438 COVID-19 cases. Of those, 238  cases are identified as Smithfield employees.

Gov. Noem says the request also asks Smithfield to pay its employees while the plant is closed. 

Mike Wagner: Medical Information Privacy

Apr 10, 2020
SDPB

In The Moment ... April 10, 2020 Show 793 Hour 1

Dakota Political Junkies

Apr 8, 2020
SDPB

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

Mayor Paul Aylward & PIO Mark Johnson

Apr 8, 2020
SDPB

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

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

Apr 7, 2020
SDPB

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:

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.

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.”

Governor Kristi Noem speaks behind a podium in front of state representatives
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.

Woster Talks Gov Noem's Handling Of COVID-19

Apr 2, 2020
SDPB

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

Governor Kristi Noem has handled the coronavirus crisis with consistency both in her policy and her messaging. South Dakotans have come to expect the governor to stand by her word and stick to her guns. Is that helping or hurting? SDPB's Kevin Woster joins us with thoughts on how Noem has led the state during the crisis and how what she sees as the role of government makes a big difference in how we face the pandemic. You can find his blog online at SDPB.org/Woster.  

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. 

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.

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.

An Expert's Take On The Numbers

Mar 24, 2020
SDPB

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

State of South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem says projections show coronavirus cases in South Dakota will continue to increase until at least May.

Noem says the information comes from data and modelling designed to predict the spread of the virus.

During a Facebook live address, Noem said the number of COVID-19 cases will continue to increase.

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