Health officials stress social distancing needs to continue even with nicer weather

Coronavirus

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With nice weather expected this weekend, Sioux Falls officials want to remind everyone of the importance of maintaining social distancing if you head outside.

The city of Sioux Falls is continuously looking at data and numbers to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. And the latest tool they’re using is taking a look at something most of us have right at our fingertips.

“One of the data points we’re actually following includes cell phone tracking data that’s readily available in the public. This tracking data, again, it’s public information, public data, allows us to look at our local population movements based on county-level cell phone movement,” public health director Jill Franken said.

Franken says in the first couple of weeks of social distancing, travel appeared to decrease by about 25 percent, but more recently, the city’s began to see an increase.

“This tells us people are moving and traveling more than they have been in the previous weeks,” Franken said.

So, with that in mind, the city wants to remind everyone who might be going out to enjoy the nice weather this weekend that you should still be following social distancing guidelines.

“You have to be abiding by all of our social distancing efforts that we have put into place. The things that we’ve said that you must do. You have to be doing that right now. It is critically important. So I’m asking you to please continue that for your own health and safety and for us to be able to do what we need to to get us through what’s going to happen in the weeks to come,” Franken said.

At the beginning of April, the CDC recommended wearing cloth face masks when out in public settings. That is something Franken echoes saying they are helpful in preventing the spread to others. 


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