Franken says numbers favor repealing of COVID-19 restrictions in Sioux Falls Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The COVID-19 numbers as of Thursday point toward repealing the city’s no mingling ordinance, local public health director Jill Franken said this morning during a coronavirus news briefing.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Sioux Falls has been decreasing in a 14-day trend, Franken said. She said the need for hospitalizations has decreased far below what was expected.

The no mingling ordinance set guidelines for how bars, restaurants and similar businesses should operate during the pandemic. The council approved the first step of repealing the ordinance on May 19. The next step is slated for the May 26 council meeting.

Franken and Dr. Mike Elliott of Avera and Dr. Mike Wilde of Sanford said the public has played a key role in improving the coronavirus pandemic situation in the Sioux Falls area.

“We have done this together as one Sioux Falls,” Franken said.

The same responsible community actions are still needed, even if the council approves repealing the no mingling ordinance, they said.

While the numbers indicate the community has flattened the curve and dampened the spread of COVID-19, the public still needs to take responsible actions, Franken said.

Franken said the public still needs to wash their hands, wear masks, practice other good hygiene, maintain proper physical social distance and make other responsible decisions.

Even as restrictions loosen and the two health organizations return to more routine operations such as in-clinic visits and elective surgery, “This does not mean we are done with COVID,” Elliott said.

The community has shown an ability to make smart decision and that needs to continue, Wilde said.

Franken said the local department of health and other officials will continue to monitor the COVID-19 data. The local board of health will also meet on the afternoon of May 26 before the council meeting.

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