PIERRE, S.D. (AP/KCAU) – Two Native American tribes in South Dakota continue to defy orders from Gov. Kristi Noem to take down road checkpoints the tribes had set up to stop coronavirus infections from spreading.
The issue pits a governor who has taken a mostly hands-off approach to restrictions during the pandemic against tribes who say her actions are inadequate to prevent infections.
The tribes say they feel they have to be vigilant to protect tribal members who have underlying health problems and rely on a fragile health care system.
The standoff and potential legal fight comes amid longstanding tensions between Noem and the tribes, most notably over the Keystone XL pipeline.
On Monday, the governor signed an executive order to give flexibility in the state’s fight against the spread of COVID-19.
The Executive Order 2020-23 suspends the statute related to the renewal of certain alcoholic beverage licenses.
It also suspends the rule in regard to the submission of financial statements for Deadwood gaming establishments.
She held a news conference Monday at the South Dakota State Capitol to discuss the developments that surround COVID-19 in the state.
South Dakota Department of Health has reported 97 new cases of the virus and 40 additional recoveries on Monday.
Watch the replay of the live stream above or on the KCAU 9 News Facebook page.