SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In order to comply with Gov. Kristi Noem’s Executive Order and cut down on community spread, the city of Sioux Falls plans to crack down on businesses that may not be following the social distancing guidelines.
Thursday, city leaders will consider an ordinance that would limit gatherings at certain Sioux Falls businesses to less than 10 people.
“As of today, we are not going to be mandating business closures in the city of Sioux Falls. It’s a very strict ordinance. We’re not saying you can’t be open, but we are saying you can only have 10 patrons. That is certainly going to clear up a lot of the challenges we’re seeing by some of the businesses that aren’t wanting to operate in the fashion that we’ve encouraged them to take,” Sioux Falls mayor Paul TenHaken said.
If a business doesn’t follow the order, they could be charged a class 2 misdemeanor which comes with a $500 fine and up to a month in jail. The businesses that would be affected include bars, restaurants, breweries, cafes, casinos, coffee shops, athletic and recreational facilities, health clubs and entertainment venues. Hair salons do not fall under this new ordinance.
“We want to continue to show unity with the state and operate within the confines of the executive order that the governor has issued to us as municipalities. This measure will also help alleviate questions and concerns people are expressing to us at this time. When and why are we going to do this and how it will be enforced and so forth,” TenHaken said.
Mayor TenHaken says right now, the city is working at the fullest extent it can under the law.
“We understand that the state can declare a state of public health emergency statewide and we feel that that is something we’d like to hear more about and we would like to understand at what point would be the triggers for them to declare a public health emergency,” City of Sioux Falls Public Health Director, Jill Franken said.
The Board of Health meets Thursday at 2 p.m., and city council will meet after at 4 p.m. to discuss the ordinance. KELOLAND News will bring you the latest on air and online from both of these briefings.