A look inside South Dakota’s Emergency Operations Center

Coronavirus

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — It’s all hands on deck at the state level as leaders try stop the spread of COVID-19 in South Dakota.

South Dakota’s Emergency Operations Center opened in February.

Director of the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management Tina Titze says the goal is to bring state agencies together to work more efficiently.

“When we first started we did have every department represented in there. We do have some now working remotely. Obviously, with the current situation we want to keep it as minimal as we can, but yet be effective and efficient in the EOC,” SD Office of Emergency Management Director Tina Titze said.

The Emergency Operations Center is open seven days a week, 8:00 am-6:00 pm, but work continues around the clock.

It’s no surprise South Dakota’s Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon, spends a lot of her time at the EOC.

“I think people appreciate that there’s just so much information that we need to absorb, that we need to push out to other people so they’re doing what they need to do. This setup here helps us have a coordinated effort, including other state agencies, so that’s really a huge benefit,” SD Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.

State leaders say the fight against COVID-19 is far from over in South Dakota.

“I’m really proud of our efforts so far. We are hanging in there, but it’s certainly challenging. These are long days. Working together is going to be what gets us through this,” Malsam Rysdon said.

Right now, there’s no timeline for how long the EOC will remain open.

“It’s something we’re ready and able to support for the long haul if needed,” Titze said.

Titze says the EOC has also been used to handle flooding and severe weather in South Dakota.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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