Mayor, health officials remind public to continue with COVID precautions

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 5:04 PM CDT
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Most Coronavirus regulations statewide have now turned into guidelines or recommendations for South Dakotans.

However, this doesn’t mean that the virus that shut down most of the world shouldn’t still be taken seriously.

Earlier this week, Sioux Falls Mayor, Paul TenHaken sent out a friendly reminder on Social Media that just because regulations have loosened, doesn’t mean we are in the clear.

This Wednesday, Mayor TenHaken emphasized that people still need to take precautions during this pandemic and says that “The playbook has not changed.”

TenHaken said, “It’s very important to continue to send out reminders to say ‘hey listen, protests are good and gatherings are good and we’re opening for business, but we still are coexisting with this virus.’ Mask wearing, hand hygiene, social distancing that has not gone away.”

And that message from the Mayor is being echoed by local healthcare professionals.

Avera Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kevin Post said, “We have to remember that we opened up for economic reasons and not necessarily for health reasons, so while we completely need to move forward as a society and as an economy; from a health standpoint we continue to have to have the same precautions as we did before.”

At one-point, Sioux Falls was a hotspot for the virus after an outbreak at Smithfield and city council considered a Stay-At-Home order.

And that experience is something that the Mayor doesn’t want to go through again.

"We don’t want to get involved in the regulation game in South Dakota and in Sioux Falls, I sure don’t, so I'm putting it on the backs of our residents to say ‘hey we have an open economy, we have an open city so let’s keep it that way,” said TenHaken.

Most importantly, precautions like social distancing, good hygiene, and mask-wearing are not only to protect yourself.

"I think really a mindset that you’re not doing it just for yourself, you’re doing it for others. You have to think about your vulnerable neighbors, family members, friends and you may be saving someone’s life that you may not necessarily know,” Dr. Post added.

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