Sioux Falls likely to tighten social gathering restrictions; Mayor says family field trips to stores bad idea


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The city of Sioux Falls will ask the Sioux Falls Department of Health to pass stricter measures regulating social gatherings in the city.

The measures will follow those recommended by Gov.  Kristi Noem’s executive order issued on Tuesday. The measures include any bar, restaurant, brewery, cafe, casino, coffee shop, recreational or athletic facility, health club, or entertainment venue should limit to less than 10 people in one place.

“This is the most aggressive step we can take in the city of Sioux Falls,”  Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

If the local health department approves the regulations at its Thursday meeting, the Sioux Falls City Council will address it at a meeting later that day.

City attorney Scott Kooistra said the regulations would be effective as soon as it was approved by the city council.

On Wednesday, the South Dakota Department of Public Health announced new cases of COVID-19 in Minnehaha County and Lincoln County. Confirmed positive cases are at 13 in Minnehaha County and Lincoln is at one. There have been 13 recoveries statewide.

Minnehaha County also moved to “substantial” for the level of community spread. That means there are five more cases of community-acquired COVID-19 in a county or district city or township.

“Going from five to 13 in (the county) is not the surge,” TenHaken said of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Minnehaha County.

While the regulation includes social gatherings at bars and restaurants, TenHaken said they shouldn’t be scapegoats.

There are instances in which people are not staying at home or practicing social distancing in larger stores, he said. “…that ticks me off,” TenHaken said.

“Stay home. You don’t need to take your family on field trips to Lowes or Walmart or Hy Vee…,” TenHaken said.

The new regulations would be in effect for two weeks, which allows the council to make changes as necessary, TenHaken said.

KELOLAND News will have more coverage of the COVID-19 response in Sioux Falls throughout the day online and on-air at 5, 6 and 10.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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