PIERRE, S.D. —The number of COVID-19 cases in South Dakota totaled 212 as of Saturday, April 4, which is an increase of 25 cases from the day before.
The South Dakota Department of Health reported two deaths as of Saturday, but that number is expected to increase to at least four total deaths once certified death records have been filed for the death of a Huron resident and state lawmaker, Rep. Bob Glanzer, and the death of a resident at an Avera retirement facility in Sioux Falls.
The deaths of both Glanzer and the Avera resident were reported Friday, April 3.
Gov. Kristi Noem issued a statement regarding Glanzer's death
"I was very sorry to hear of Bob Glanzer’s passing," Noem stated in a press release.
"Bob was a man of true integrity and someone I greatly respected. He epitomized what it means to be a true statesman and worked tirelessly for the people of Beadle and Kingsbury counties as well as for our entire state. Bryon and I will miss him dearly, and we extend our deepest sympathies to Penny and his entire family."
Noem requested that all flags in South Dakota fly at half-staff in honor of Glanzer on the day of his funeral, which has yet to be set.
Federal relief funding for gaming facilities in South Dakota
U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, wants the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Treasury to accept Paycheck Protection Program applications from gaming facilities, such as tribally owned casinos and gaming operations in Deadwood.
The program was part of the CARES Act, which was recently passed to provide relief to businesses and families facing financial injuries as a result of COVID-19.
Rounds said there's no statute prohibiting the two entities from accepting applications from small businesses that receive income from gaming facilities.
“To that end, as your agencies implement the Paycheck Protection Program, the Small Business Administration and Department of the Treasury should affirm that businesses that receive income from legal gaming operations are eligible to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans, regardless of how much of their income can be attributed to gaming activity," Rounds stated in the release.
"Leaving these types of small businesses out of important federal recovery efforts would prove to be crippling for South Dakota.”
Residential construction deemed essential
Residential construction was deemed an essential business by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 28, allowing construction of single-family and multifamily housing to continue, which is meant to be taken as guidance rather than a mandate for state governments.
There's no mandatory federal order defining an essential business, and the advisory regarding residential construction wouldn't supersede state rulings.
The National Association of Home Builders released a statement calling for construction workers to strictly adhere to public health guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.