Preparations underway for COVID-19 surge in Sioux Falls

Coronavirus

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — City of Sioux Falls officials are preparing and waiting for surge numbers of COVID-19 cases in the area.

Mayor Paul TenHaken says the surge is the focus for city leaders right now. As of Monday morning, he said when looking at COVID-19 cases per capita, Sioux Falls is at 746 per 100,000 people. There are 929 active COVID-19 cases within the MSA, TenHaken said.

TenHaken says during a recent call with Smithfield Foods management, a mid-week call to discuss re-opening the closed plant was mentioned. He says he’s looking forward to that conversation.

COVID-19 cases in employees and their contacts pushed the plant to a top hotspot in the country. As of Friday, there were 1,033 cases connected to the plant.

TenHaken says the city is looking at ordinances and using data to decide how to proceed with extending those or reopening some amenities such as parks.

The response to COVID-19 has required changes from many departments in the city, including police.

Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns says the measures being taken across the community to slow the spread of COVID-19 are also working in the police department. Burns says at this point, no one in the department has tested positive for the virus.

He says officers are responding to an increase in certain types of calls including domestic issues and mental health reports.

As with many areas of life these days, officers are making changes to procedures to protect themselves and the public.

“They are pivoting to what the challenge is and they are meeting it,” Burns said.


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