Governor Noem unveils 'back-to-normal' plan
Governor Kristi Noem unveiled her “back-to-normal" plan on Tuesday following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan outlines guidelines for individuals, employers, schools, health care providers, and local governments. The plan is based on increased testing capacity and continued improvement in South Dakota’s projected peak hospitalization.
For individuals, Governor Noem to continue to practice good hygiene, continue to stay home when sick and to continue to practice physical distancing. For those more vulnerable and at higher risk for this virus, Noem says they should take extra care to practice good hygiene, avoid those who are sick or those who have been exposed to people who are sick, and consider staying home whenever possible
For employers, Governor Noem wants them to encourage good hygiene and sanitation practices, especially in high-traffic areas, encourage employees to stay home when sick. Governor Noem’s plan wants businesses to begin transitioning employees back to the workplace if working remotely and to screen employees for symptoms prior to entering the workplace.
Governor Noem wants schools across the state to continue remote learning and to consider a limited return to in-person instruction to “check-in” before the school year ends. Noem is encouraging good hygiene and sanitation practices, especially in high-traffic areas.
For healthcare providers, Governor Noem says hospitals treating COVID-19 patients should reserve 30% of their hospital beds and maintain appropriate stores of PPE to meet surge demand. Other hospitals and surgery centers must have updated transfer protocols and adequate stores of independently-sourced PPE. Non-hospital healthcare can resume with adequate stores of independently sourced PPE and to continue to restrict visits to senior care facilities and hospitals.
“The plan I am unveiling today continues to put the power of decision-making into the hands of the people – where it belongs. Today’s plan relies on South Dakotan's continuing to exercise common sense, reasonableness, innovation, and a commitment to themselves, their families, and – in turn – their communities,” said Governor Noem.
The plan lays out criteria to initiate the plan including a downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period in areas with sustained community spread and a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses reported within the last 14-day period.
South Dakotans are still encouraged to follow CDC guidelines including social distancing practicing and practicing good hygiene.