state of emergency

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. 

Governor Declares State of Emergency, Closes Schools

Mar 13, 2020

Governor Kristi Noem has declared a state of emergency, which allows state agencies to accept funding or other resources to treat and stop the spread of COVID-19.

In a press conference on Friday, the governor announced several other precautions—including statewide school closures.

Governor Noem is calling for all public k-12 schools to close next week. She’s encouraging private schools to do the same.

“I’m recommending the schools use this time to clean their facilities and to prepare for the following week,” she says during the announcement.