Governor Noem Issues Executive Orders to Combat COVID-19

Gov. Kristi Noem issued two executive orders on Monday, March 23 in response to the community spread of COVID-19. 

The signed executive orders comprise mostly of guidelines for all South Dakotans, for-profit and not-for-profit employers, enclosed retail businesses that promote public gatherings, local and municipal governments, and healthcare organizations as it relates to COVID-19 in the state of South Dakota. 

Highlights of the Executive Order Guidelines, along with administrative rule notations are as follows: 

1st Executive Order: General Business operation guidelines.  

All employers should: 

  • Follow CDC hygiene practices  
  • Encourage staff to telework if possible, use social distancing, limit gatherings to 10 or less 
  • Encourage special shopping times for higher vulnerable populations 

Retail businesses which promote public gatherings should: 

  • Suspend or change business practice to align with CDC recommendations (social distancing and gatherings of less than 10) 
  • Continue to encourage takeout, delivery, drive-through, curb-side service, etc.  

All healthcare organizations should: 

  • Continue to prepare for the expected surge of COVID-19 patients  
  • Postpone all non-essential elective surgeries 

All local and municipal governments should: 

  • Implement CDC hygiene practices 
  • Encourage entrepreneurial innovation, align the operations of the free market with CDC guidance for all businesses  
  • Protect healthcare services, pharmaceutical industries, and food supply entities and encourage them to maintain a normal work schedule  

  2nd Executive Order: Medical and other business guidelines. 

 Section 1: Telehealth & Telemedicine Services: Governor temporarily suspends administrative rules 67:16 (covered medical services), 67:61 (substance use disorders) and 67:62 (mental health). These rules limit or restrict the provisions of telehealth or telemedicine services which require face-to-face treatment, visits, interviews and sessions with providers. 

 Section 2: Medications: Governor temporarily suspends the regulatory provisions of administrative rule 67:16:14:06.03 (dispensing fee for maintenance drugs). Dispensing fee payments for maintenance drugs or items are limited to one each month for each drug or item except for the following: 

           (1)  Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances; 

          (2)  Clozapine; 

          (3)  Antipsychotic drugs for recipients who are not institutionalized if the physician or other licensed practitioner indicates on the prescription that a month’s supply of the drug is not in the patient’s best interests and that the quantities may not be increased; 

          (4)  Liquid products, ointments, or biologicals dispensed in their original containers if the product is not available from the manufacturer in a container which is adequate for a one-month’s supply; and 

          (5)  Drugs that must be dispensed in smaller quantities to ensure the stability and effectiveness of the drug. 

Section 3: Medical Assistance Program: Governor temporarily suspends the regulatory provision of administrative rule 67:17 (office administration) which limits or restricts the timeframes for the Medical Assistance program to receive and respond to fair hearings requests. 

 Section 4: Medical Licensure: Governor grants full recognition to the licenses held by a professional by any compact member state, in accordance with the Uniform Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) should those facilities require additional professionals to meet patient demand during the COVID-19 emergency, whether in-person or by remote means. 

  •  SDCL 34-48A-5: Authority of Governor in time of disaster, terrorist attack, or emergency. In the event of disaster, war, act of terrorism as defined in state law, or emergency that is beyond local government capability, the Governor: (7) May appoint and prescribe the duties of such out-of-state health care providers as may be reasonable and necessary to respond to the disaster, emergency, or act of terrorism. 

 Section 5: Overweight Vehicles: Governor temporarily suspends the regulatory provisions of administrative rules governing overweight vehicles carrying relief supplies in direct support of the COVID-19 outbreak and the state of emergency. These 2 rules pertain to the division of loads, such that divisible loads shall be allows to move on state trunk highway in South Dakota under the terms of the permit authorized by administrative rules. 

  • 70:03:01:09.  Permits not issued when load can be reduced. No permit may be issued for movement of a load that could be readily reduced in size or weight, except as provided by this chapter. 
  • 70:03:01:02.  Single-trip permit — Procedures — Fees.  A permit-issuing authority may issue an individual single-trip permit or a book of 10 self-issuing single-trip permits that allow movement on state trunk highways of a vehicle that consists of one or more units and exceeds the size, weight, or size and weight limits in SDCL chapter 32-22. 
  •           The permit fee for an individual single-trip permit is $25. The fee for a book of 10 self-issuing single-trip permits is $250. An overweight vehicle shall be charged an additional fee of two cents for each ton or fraction of a ton that its gross weight exceeds the following weight limits, for each mile traveled on state trunk highways. This additional fee may not be less than one dollar. 

          The weight limits are as follows: 

          (1)  Two axles – 40,000 pounds; 

          (2)  Three axles – 60,000 pounds; 

          (3)  Four axles – 80,000 pounds; 

          (4)  Five axles – 85,000 pounds; 

          (5)  Six axles – 90,000 pounds; 

          (6)  Seven axles or more – 95,000 pounds. 

  •           A self-issuing single-trip permit must be validated by a permit-issuing authority before it can be used. In order to get validation, the permit holder shall contact the permit center and provide the information necessary for permit validation. If approved, the permit-issuing authority shall provide the permit holder with information to be copied on the permit by the permit holder regarding routing, permit restrictions, effective period of the permit, and validation number. The permit holder shall complete the permit and send the copy of the validated permit to the Division of Highway Patrol. The original validated permit is the permit for movement of the permit vehicle and must be carried in the permit vehicle during movement. 
  •           A single-trip permit may be issued in place of any extended period permit, LCV permit, or over 80,000 on interstate permit that is authorized in another section of this chapter. A single-trip over-dimension or overweight permit authorizes the movement of a permit vehicle for only one trip. A permit-issuing authority may grant a time extension for a single-trip permit to allow more travel time to complete a trip, if the trip as authorized by the permit is delayed due to equipment breakdown, weather conditions, highway conditions, or other moving delays. Special operating restrictions may be stated on the permit. All single-trip permits are issued subject to the provisions of this chapter. 
  •           State agencies, local subdivisions of this state or of a foreign state, and federal agencies, departments, or divisions are exempt from permit fees and additional overweight ton-mile fees.