Minnehaha County Commission eases COVID restrictions on businesses, some planning to reopen


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Minnehaha County business owners have the all-clear to re-open. The Minnehaha County Commission a resolution to ease COVID-19 guidelines, but with a few stipulations.

Empty parking lots are filled with reminders that life is no longer how we knew it. However, that is about to change.

“As we look toward getting back to whatever the new normal is,” Jean Bender, commission chair, said.

Businesses are getting ready to re-open all over the county. An employee with Monarch Steakhouse in Renner told us off-camera the restaurant is opening on Monday. There are rules they’ll have to follow.

“It’s very similar to what the City of Sioux Falls has passed. Which says food/alcohol beverage establishments should be able to have their parties sitting six feet apart from each other, and any establishments for public events and gatherings should not have more than ten people or 50-percent of their occupancy. Whichever is greater,” Carol Muller, with Minnehaha County, said.

Commission members unanimously approved the resolution Wednesday morning, with an emergency clause. They say that doesn’t mean you should worry, but it does mean this will go into effect right away. Emergency manager Jason Gearman says the county followed Sioux Falls’ lead put in previous restrictions as more COVID cases had spread.

“I’m sure people are sick of hearing flatten the curve, flatten the curve, but that’s why we did it,” Gearman said.

The goal was to prevent a surge in cases that would overwhelm hospitals.

“In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been hearing from the hospitals that their capacities are looking really well. So, it’s time to start easing back on these restrictions, because the whole point of this was to help the hospitals,” Gearman said.

Within a matter of days, area parking lots could be full of cars. However, Bender is urging everyone to continue practicing safety guidelines.

“I want people to recognize we’re not out of the woods yet,” Bender said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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