Sioux Falls mayor discusses business ordinance, COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus

Sioux Falls city councilors will issue their final say later this week on an ordinance that would ease restrictions on businesses.

Foodservice businesses, including restaurants, coffee shops, and bars would be able to open up to customers as long as they keep a six-foot distance between parties.

Meanwhile, recreational facilities, including gyms and theaters would have to cap the number of patrons at half of their posted occupancy.

“We must also continue to strike a balance between the public health of our community, which I think we’ve done a good job of thus far, and the economic health of our community,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

If councilors give final approval to the ordinance, it would go into effect on Friday.

During the press briefing, KELOLAND News asked Mayor TenHaken about testing in Sioux Falls.

This week, Smithfield workers and their families are being tested for COVID-19 for free in the Washington High School parking lot.

The mayor wants to see more testing sites, like that one, in the future.

“I would really like to see aggressive testing for all first responders, for all healthcare employees, for all critical infrastructure employees and get to the point where if you want a test, you can drive up and get a test. And we’re not there. And so we continue to have those conversations with the state, with the state department of health,” Mayor TenHaken said.

Mayor TenHaken says he also wants testing more accessible to anyone regardless of their employer.

KELOLAND News asked the state if we could see more testing sites in the future.

The secretary of health says mass events like the one in Sioux Falls will be a part of the plan in the state moving forward.

“I don’t see us moving in the direction of universal testing on demand at this time, and you wouldn’t see that happening elsewhere, but certainly as we need to get people back to work we will use testing to help support that,” Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.

Secretary Malsam-Rysdon says there will also be more testing happening in the long term care industry.

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