SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Mayor Paul TenHaken held a COVID-19 response update at the Law Enforcement Center Thursday morning.
TenHaken first thanked American Sign Language interpreter Rick Norris and all interpreters to start Thursday’s city briefing.
The mayor says the state saw a 900% increase in unemployment benefit requests.
The Board of Health meeting will be streamed live at 2 p.m. and TenHaken encouraged people to watch that meeting. The ordinance to limit patrons less than 10 will be discussed. The city council will meet at 4 p.m. if it passes. Watch both meetings livestreamed on KELOLAND.com.
Mayor TenHaken reminded the public to not linger at any business to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in Sioux Falls. He says businesses who are not affected by the city ordinance need to implement each of their own guidelines. He said this is another step the city is making to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under law.
The mayor reminded people who are at home to take the 2020 Census. He said it is important for the future funding in the city of Sioux Falls.
“When you are protecting yourself, you are protecting others,” Mayor TenHaken said.
Public Health Director Jill Franken addressed community spread in Minnehaha County. The goal is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve. It helps the hospitals have the resources for everyone who may need them.
Franken said everyone has a responsibility in the response to COVID-19.
Helpline Center/211 CEO Janet Kittams said people just need to talk and the Helpline Center is there for everyone. She said they’ve answered 3,700+ COVID-19 related calls so far. Kittams said the Helpline Center has counseling options online as well. She said people need to know they are not alone.
Mayor Paul TenHaken finished the meeting by saying there are no plans to limit gatherings at outdoor parks, but he says that could change.
On Wednesday, the South Dakota Department of Health announced 11 new positive confirmed cases of COVID-19. Minnehaha County stands at 13 positive cases, while Lincoln County has one. There have been 13 recovered cases. New numbers are expected before noon Thursday.
On Thursday, city leaders will consider an ordinance that would limit gatherings at certain Sioux Falls businesses to less than 10 people. The Board of Health meets Thursday at 2 p.m., and city council will meet after at 4 p.m. to discuss the ordinance. KELOLAND News will bring you the latest on air and online from both of these meetings.
TenHaken said the considered ordinance would be enforced by law. A business that doesn’t follow the order, could be charged a class 2 misdemeanor which comes with a $500 fine and up to a month in jail.
The businesses that would be affected include bars, restaurants, breweries, cafes, casinos, coffee shops, athletic and recreational facilities, health clubs and entertainment venues. Hair salons do not fall under this new ordinance.
TenHaken said each and every business should be following CDC guidelines limiting large gatherings. He stressed that he can’t close businesses but each and every business needs to understand their part in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19.
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