Sioux Falls prepares for surge in coronavirus cases

Coronavirus

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The city of Sioux Falls continues to closely monitor what’s happening across the state and country when it comes to COVID-19, and is actively preparing for a surge in cases.

President Trump recently extended coronavirus guidelines through the end of April. In Sioux Falls, public health director Jill Franken is attempting to add at least two weeks to the city’s “no lingering” ordinance.

“Had a first reading yesterday of that ordinance to recommend extending that to April 22, and so that will go to second reading next week for approval and adoption by the city council,” Sioux Falls Public Health Director Jill Franken said.

Franken praised the public for its efforts.

“We’re encouraged by the compliance of the general community, however, I will say that we’re going to continue to be proactive in ensuring compliance,” Franken said.

According to Governor Kristi Noem, South Dakota may not reach the peak of the outbreak until July or August. Franken says Sioux Falls is working closely with Avera and Sanford to do what’s best for the city.

“My responsibility is knowing where we’re at as a city and what we think, and that’s why we’re really working closely with our partners that are in unified command so that we can do the predicting that we need to to take the kind of actions that we need to in our community,” Franken said.

While city and health leaders are preparing for a surge, Franken says Sioux Falls won’t rush to judgement.

“You’ve got to be as thoughtful about when you take action as when you need to let up on that action because this is something we’re going to be dealing with in some way, shape, or form based on waves that will continue to impact our community,” Franken said.

Dr. Mike Wilde from Sanford says models indicate the surge is approximately two to four weeks away, but doesn’t expect a rapid peak due to the efforts of the public.

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