TenHaken: Hot spots in Sioux Falls are being monitored


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Mayor Paul TenHaken announced Wednesday the city of Sioux Falls is closely monitoring hot spots in the community where the spread of COVID-19 is happening. 

TenHaken said the city, along with help from state department of health, have identified hot spots in Sioux Falls. He said city and state officials are working to slow the spread in these areas.

On Tuesday, South Dakota announced 320 positive COVID-19 cases in the state. Minnehaha County led the state with 165 cases. A total of 192 people in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties have tested positive.

TenHaken started Wednesday’s briefing by saying case numbers are going up and we’ll see that when new data is released later in the day.

TenHaken the state identifies where hot spots in the community are, he said city officials follow the health department’s lead on what mitigation strategies need to be done in certain spots. 

“There is a spot in Minnehaha County that we are working very closely with the state,” TenHaken said, noting he wasn’t going to name any one business or organization. 

He said the city is working with one employer specifically. He added that employer is “working around the clock” to give employees proper mitigation tactics and personal hygiene practices in place to “curb the spread.”

KELOLAND News asked TenHaken specifically about the Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls.

TenHaken said Smithfield is one of several employers in Sioux Falls the Department of Health is working with in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. The mayor said he believes more businesses will continue to deal with COVID-19 in the workplace.

Smithfield is working closely with the state department of public health. TenHaken said the CEO of Smithfield Global has visited the Sioux Falls plant and is working to get the plant more protection. 

TenHaken thanked the citizens of Sioux Falls for taking the COVID-19 response “really seriously.” He thanked everyone who is following directions and working to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

TenHaken said the needs for the One Sioux Falls fund are high right now. He’s calling for more donations to the fund, which focuses on helping renters avoid eviction. 

Public Works Director Mark Cotter said garbage haulers are having some staffing impacts because of the coronavirus. Haulers say they typically spend 40 percent of their time walking up and down driveways. 

So, in an effort to reduce their workload — you should now bring your garbage and recycling containers all the way to the curb. The city council passed the emergency ordinance last night.

On Tuesday, the Sioux Falls City Council unanimously extended an ordinance that bans certain businesses from having more than 10 customers on-site at one time.

The ordinance that passed Tuesday night is in effect until April 22.

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