PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Six days from the start of the 2021 legislative session at the Capitol in Pierre, legislative leaders have announced COVID-19 precautions. 

Most notably, state legislators will be allowed to attend and vote remotely “under certain circumstances and with leadership approval.” The issue was first brought up by District 15 Rep. Linda Duba (D-Sioux Falls), who wanted to know if she could attend the session remotely. She told KELOLAND News her children brought their concerns to her about attending the upcoming session in Pierre. Duba is 64 and suffers from hypertension and asthma. 

At least six Senators have had COVID-19, according to Senate leader, Lee Schoenbeck (R-Watertown). 

In a news release, Schoenbeck, said while it is important that legislators fulfill their duties as they have in previous years, this year’s priority is that they do so safely.

The rules announced by legislative leaders include masks in spaces under the jurisdiction of the S.D. Senate and S.D. House, limited seating in the Senate and House galleries, PPE for members and staff as well as encouraging remote testifying and digital documents. 

The 2021 session opens at noon Tuesday, January 12.

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