Following their mission to help people before, during, and after disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released data funds that have assisted South Dakota through the COVID-19 pandemic.

A current news release states that FEMA approved more than $36 million in total assistance to South Dakota as of October 1, over the last 18 months. The assistance, was authorized under the major disaster declaration issued for South Dakota on April 5, 2020.

Thanks to new guidelines from the current administration, FEMA increased reimbursement from 75 percent to 100 percent funding for projects related to the pandemic response, retroactive to January 20, 2020. This federal funding was received by the state and distributed to South Dakota tribes, counties, cities, individuals, and other state and local partners.

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The report indicates that a total of nearly $28 million was provided by FEMA to reimburse other agencies that provided staffing or resources to augment state efforts.

South Dakota continues to feel the effects of the pandemic in its workforce and supply shortages.

Another area of support getting a boost was more than $820,000 for Crisis Counseling to assist individuals and communities in recovering from the psychological effects of the pandemic through outreach and educational services.

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