The Sioux Falls City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to limit gatherings to 10 people or less at certain businesses — that doesn’t include staff.
Under the proposal, if a business does not adhere to the ordinance, it could face a class two misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $500 fine, 30 days in jail and loss of license.
The vote follows a recommendation by the public health board, which met earlier today with the mayor, who outlined the need for such an ordinance to slow the spread of COVID-19 within Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties.
The city says the proposed ordinance will get businesses that haven’t been following CDC guidelines, to do so.
It applies to non-essential businesses like bars, restaurants, casinos and other entertainment venues that promote social gatherings.
During testimony at Thursday’s special city council meeting, Bridget Meyer who is a massage therapist is in favor of the ordinance but has some concerns with the wording.
“This has had a significant impact on the personal service industry, I’m one of those people being affected, I just expanded my office my rent payment is $2,482 this month. I had five people on my schedule and I’ve only had three show this week, because of this six-foot clearing you guys have put out you’ve scared everybody off,” Massage Therapist Bridgett Meyer said.
The ordinance does not apply to essential businesses like hair salons, health care facilities, grocery stores and gas stations, but they are expected to practice social distancing.
The city also sent copies of the ordinances to surrounding communities asking them to consider passing similar ordinances.