Governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order October 27, 2021 allowing federally-contracted state employees to make religious or medical exemptions from the federal vaccine mandate.
Gov. Noem says she is working with South Dakota lawmakers to make these exemptions permanent and to extend them to employees of private businesses.
Republican state lawmakers have already called for a special session to consider legislation that would make it illegal to deny a religious or medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine by any “entity” operating in the state, such as businesses or schools.
The executive order doesn’t apply to South Dakota National Guard service members who must meet federal readiness responsibilities for deployment.