TenHaken ‘beating the drum’ on importance of social distancing in Sioux Falls

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Mayor Paul TenHaken says he wants people in Sioux Falls to keep practicing social distancing.

He started his daily COVID-19 briefing by saying he will keep “beating that drum.” He wants to see more smart and effective social distancing from residents.

TenHaken said he keeps hearing about businesses not taking the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing serious. He would like more businesses to find ways to enforce social distancing among employees. If employees can work from home, he says business should allow that.

He highlighted the efforts of a couple of downtown businesses. TenHaken says the owner of Wiley’s texted him to say the popular downtown bar will close for a time because people aren’t taking it serious enough. The mayor added PAve did the same to help flatten the curve.

Jean Bender with the Minnehaha County Commission says the county is closing buildings as well. Bender said the county can conduct services and business over the phone, mail and online. Bender emphasized the importance to practice social distancing.

Sioux Falls’ Public Health Director Jill Franken said because there is no vaccine for COVID-19, the best defense against the disease is by practicing social distancing and to continue to flatten the curve. She emphasized that with the weekend approaching, health officials want people to stay home. She says doing so can protect the entire community.

On Thursday, TenHaken announced the closure of many city-owned buildings. He encouraged people to call city departments ahead of time if needing to conduct business with the city.

TenHaken called on all businesses and organizations to practice social distancing.

Franken highlighted the importance for people to stay home if they are feeling ill. She said the only way to prevent the spread is through self-isolation, good hygiene and social distancing.

On Wednesday night, Mayor Paul TenHaken said the One Sioux Falls fund, which can help people and small businesses in Minnehaha, Lincoln, Turner and McCook counties, has surpassed $1 million. You can submit an application for assistance at the Helpline Center’s website.

TenHaken is also urging businesses in Sioux Falls to follow CDC and President Trump guidelines of no gatherings larger than 10 people.

You can watch this week’s daily city briefings in videos below.

Thursday, March 19 briefing

Wednesday, March 18 briefing

Tuesday, March 17 briefing

Monday, March 16 briefing

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