SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Three weeks ago, the Sioux Falls City Council decided not to extend the city’s mask mandate. However, Minnehaha and Lincoln counties are listed as sustained hot spots, according to the latest report from the White House COVID-19 Team.
As COVID-19 numbers trend up in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties, one of the city’s top health officials says she’s not liking what she is seeing.
“If I look at the data over the last two weeks were are definitely trending up, in terms of active cases, the number of people in the hospital, and so one of the things I want to reiterate is, while we’re ready for this illness to be gone, its not,” said Falls Community Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jennifer Tinguley.
She says city officials are aware of the increasing cases of COVID-19
“These trends and this information is shared with city leadership and so they are aware, and there is still big support for the One Sioux Falls effort where the mask-wearing is still encouraged, while the city council voted to not continue that a few weeks ago, the push is still there to wear masks,” said Tinguely.
Tinguely feels hospitalization rates and the comfort level of the hospitals with rising numbers will be the key determining factor in any “effort” to bring back a citywide mask mandate.
“Now we haven’t heard that we need to go back and push the city council to put the mask mandate back into place, but it doesn’t say that we should stop wearing masks,” said Tinguely.
Dr. Tingley says the variants are making her nervous since they are in our state and they spread more easily. She says when she sees large gatherings of people and very few wearing masks, it is alarming.
“We see that our case numbers are trending up, our hospitalizations are trending up, it is time to remind everybody that we still need to go back and do the things that we were doing, three or four months ago,” said Tinguely.
Doctor Tinguely encourages all adults to get vaccinated. She says the vaccines have proven to be safe and effective.