TenHaken addresses Sioux Falls’ future plans to fluid COVID-19 situation


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Of the new COVID-19 cases, 14 are in Minnehaha County, and 2 in Lincoln, bringing the total to 87 in the Sioux Falls area. Mayor Paul TenHaken says the situation is changing quickly, and impacting future plans.

Mayor Paul TenHaken says the timing of of the city’s response to COVID-19 is just as important as the response itself.

“When is the right time to trigger those different tools to have the maximum efficacy on flattening the curve in our area,” TenHaken said.

TenHaken says the city is looking into issuing a shelter-in-place order, but will make that decision based on data.

“What Sanford and Avera have said, when we get to a certain number of people in beds in our facilities that have COVID, that triggers the next step,” TenHaken said.

He says issuing a shelter-in-place order is a six-day process. A more immediate alternative he’s considering is a Safer-At-Home Ordinance.

“Safer at Home would be an executive order that I could put out. Wouldn’t be legally enforceable, but it would give some very firm parameters on what I expect our residents to adhere to,” TenHaken said to.

The order could impact businesses.

“Honestly the grocery stores, and the big box stores, there’s too many people in them. Do we have to start limiting the occupancy there based on the percentage of their fire code capacity,” TenHaken said.

TenHaken says any response will follow what he calls the three R’s. Reviewing what’s happened, reassessing their actions, and then realigning their priorities.

TenHaken also said traffic numbers in Sioux Falls are down 30 percent, though he’d like to see that number drop even more.

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