SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Citing advice from Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD), Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken started Friday’s COVID-19 response update saying “It’s a good day to have a good day.”
TenHaken highlighted developments involving the Sioux Area Metro service, possible free internet provided by Midco to families who need it and challenged kids in the city with an art challenge for Friday. You can watch Friday’s entire briefing in the video above.
The mayor highlighted the newly passed city ordinance banning gatherings at bars and other entertainment businesses to 10 customers or less. He pointed out the ordinance is in effect until April 8, but the deadline could be moved depending on the spread of COVID-19.
Following the new city ordinance, TenHaken said the Sioux Area Metro will no longer allow more than 9 passengers on any city transit. He said the city will be “practicing what it is preaching.”
In addition, TenHaken announced Midco will be offering some free internet packages to children and families that qualify. He encouraged people to reach out to Midco about applying for free internet services. Midco contacted KELOLAND News and stated service would be based on income limits.
With kids staying at home, TenHaken called for a city-wide art project. Kids should create art and post them on windows throughout the city. People can use the #sfstayathomeart to post photos for the mayor to see. He said he’ll review the art and deliver prizes.
Public Health Director Jill Franken highlighted the “critical time period” the city of Sioux Falls is regard the spread of COVID-19. She said many employers should be encouraging tele-work and working from home. She credited many in the city for making “big strides.”
Franken said the weekend is a time not to gather groups bigger than 10. She encouraged people to get outside, walk and exercise, but avoid crowding. She noted city parks will not have operating bathrooms or drinking fountains.
Asked about church gatherings, TenHaken said “I would ask that churches not meet right now.” He said his family is watching church from the couch and added “I think the Lord understands, as well.”
The mayor wrapped up the update asking people to “have a blessed and lonely” weekend.