Sioux Falls Mayor: ‘We each need to do our part to manage COVID-19’

Local News

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken says city employees will need to wear masks in all common areas, when they are interacting with the public, and when social distancing isn’t possible.

He and others are also calling on the public, not just in the city, but in the region to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

There are currently more than 1,000 active cases in the Sioux Falls area and 110 hospitalizations, according to the city website.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken isn’t mandating masks for the public at this time, but he is calling on people to be diligent in slowing the spread.

“I will continue to rely on personal decision-making both by individuals, but as well as businesses and employers who have a responsibility as well. I will say, however, that as we move through this current case surge, we each need to do our part to manage COVID-19,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

Health officials discussed masks at the Monday press briefing, too.

“Number one, stay home if you are ill. Stay six feet apart, but then also consider things like where your hands are and common-touch surfaces. That hand hygiene is very important. Masking is a part of that solution as well. I think there’s a lot of focus on masks, but masks are really part of the solution. There’s data out there both supporting and saying kind of neutral things about masking. We just don’t know yet, and so we really can’t make a recommendation outside of what the CDC is recommending,” Sanford Health Vice President Medical Officer Dr. Mike Wilde said.

“I would just encourage all of us to continue to wear a mask, continue to wash our hands, and social distance. That’s how we can at least flatten the curve here. And I think as a workforce perspective, it’s really about keeping parents and their kids in school, so let’s just continue to do the right thing and continue to wear a mask,” Avera McKennan President and CEO David Flicek said.

Sioux Falls Public Health Director Jill Franken says everyone needs to do their part.

“It really is upon each of us, each and every one of us to make sure that I’m protecting you and you are protecting me. That’s what we do as a society. That’s how we do this work as a public together to mitigate a virus that’s in our community and really is threatening us,” Franken said.

Both Wilde and Flicek spoke about local hospital capacity, too.

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