In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, AARP South Dakota is providing information and resources to help older South Dakotans and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and help prevent the spread.
“We all have a responsibility to slow the spread of the coronavirus and help flatten the curve,” said SD Governor Kristi Noem. “We should not have groups of 10 or more gathered anywhere in the state for the next several weeks.” All school districts and state employees will be working from home and tele-learning through at least May 1, 2020.
If you have coronavirus symptoms, call your health care provider or local public health department to figure out if you could — and should — get tested. Signs of the virus are a dry cough, fever and shortness of breath. (Read more about coronavirus and how to stay safe.)
State and local health information:
- The SD Department of Public Health offers updates on those infected, plus tips for prevention, public resources and contact information at covid.sd.gov or by calling the COVID-19 Information Line at 1-800-997-2880.
- Dakota at Home, South Dakota’s Aging and Disability Resource Center, can help South Dakotans access public and private services and supports in their local community. To learn more, call 833-663-9673.
- South Dakota’s local hospitals are providing relevant information to patients, including Avera Health, Sanford Health, and Monument Health.
- For medical, food and recovery services and information , call 211.
Food assistance resources:
- If financial difficulty is a barrier to food, find the closest food bank or other food assistance program in your area. Feeding South Dakota has closed their food pantries in Sioux Falls and Rapid City but will have emergency food box drive-thru locations set up across the state. Learn more.
- Meals on Wheels – Western South Dakota and Meals on Wheels – Eastern South Dakota continue to deliver hot lunchtime meals, Monday through Friday. Contact a participating senior centers to apply or reserve a meal.
- The Nutritious Senior Meals program offers meals through senior centers across the state. Learn more from Dakota at Home.
- Local schools, restaurants and nonprofit organizations are mobilizing to ensure not student or at risk community member goes hungry.
- Low-income South Dakotans can apply online for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, formerly known as food stamps.
- Grocery and meal kit delivery services continue to operate for individuals with fewer financial restrictions, but advise placing your order online earlier than usual.
- Reemployment Assistance provides temporary financial assistance for people who have lost their job, until they find other employment. Claims can be filed online or by telephone.
- COVID-19 scenarios have been added to the SD Department of Labor website to help you understand and determine individual eligibility.
Grocery stores to know about:
- Safeway: Albertsons chains, including Safeway, are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 a.m. for older adults and other at-risk shoppers, including pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.
- Hy-Vee: From 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. daily, shopping will be designated for those 60 and older, expectant mothers and anyone with an underlying health condition. Hy-Vee curbside pickup or delivery is also available in many locations throughout the day.
- Fareway: Fareway has set aside shopping from 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday for those 65 or older, expectant mothers and those with increased susceptibility to serious illness.
- Costco: Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8 to 9 a.m., are designated for shoppers 60 and older.
- Target: Target will be reserving the first hour of shopping every Wednesday for vulnerable guests, including those 65 and older, pregnant women and those defined by the CDC as vulnerable. Target also offers drive up service at many locations. Check your local store for opening hours.
- Walmart: Walmart will offer special shopping hour for customers age 60 and older every Tuesday from 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. Walmart’s Pharmacy and Vision Centers will also be open during this time. Walmart also offers drive up service at many locations. Check your local store for more information.
- Walgreens: Starting March 24, every Tuesday is seniors day, with all-day discounts and senior-only shopping from 8 to 9 a.m. The hour is also designated for caregivers and immediate families. Discounts include 30 percent off Walgreen brands and 20 percent off national brands for those 55 and older.
- Dollar General: Dollar General will be dedicating the first hour of every shopping day to senior shoppers who may be at higher risk of the coronavirus. Check your local store for opening hours.
- CAREgivers by Active Generations provides resources, assistance and support for family caregivers, including case management and stress busting resources. Phone consultations are still available.
- Day Break and Ceili Cottage Respite Care is available through Active Generations in Sioux Falls but participants will not be accepted if they are sick.
- Group or individual respite care services may be available in other communities, contact Dakota at Home for more information.
- If you have a concern about the care your loved one is receiving in a long-term care facility, contact your local long-term care ombudsman for help investigating and resolving your claim.
- Some of the world’s most famous museums are offering virtual tours through Google Arts and Culture. National parks and monuments can also be experienced virtually through the platform.
- Library to Go and Hoopla offer free ebook rentals in several digital formats.
- Some yoga studios are conducting free videoconference sessions during the pandemic, and other fitness sites have free sessions anytime to help you keep your body and mind strong.
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