TenHaken: Mental health is part of public health response to COVID-19

UPDATE, 11:15 a.m.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken says the current public health concern is more than just stopping the spread of the coronavirus - it is also about mental health.

TenHaken addressed a number of topics in the city's daily coronavirus briefing, including mental health, the ongoing stress on businesses, and his concern over the "patchwork" nature of the response to COVID-19.

During the briefing, TenHaken said he recently learned of a business owner who took his own life amid the ongoing crisis.

"I want to share with that with you because when we talk public health, public health is COVID, public health is mental health, public health is suicides, public health is homelessness, is food security," TenHaken said. "City leaders are really looking into the totality of that picture when we're making decision. Realizing that one decision here, can fix a problem here, potentially, and create a problem here. That's a tough tension right now."

TenHaken also discussed a Sioux Falls Health Board scheduled later Tuesday. He said the board will not create any laws or directives requiring businesses to shut down, and that the meeting is designed to be informational to help explain the city's COVID-19 guidelines. However, the board may issue advisories that the city council may later act upon.

The mayor also expressed concern over what he called the "patchwork" nature of directives from different levels of governments. He said it has been challenging to figure exactly what actions the city can legally take to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

You can watch the full briefing on our Facebook page.

Original story:

Several Sioux Falls officials are set to provide an update on the city's efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Mayor Paul TenHaken, along with other local leaders, will give the briefing at 10:30 a.m Tuesday.

Dakota News Now will bring you the briefing live.

In Monday's briefing, TenHaken recommended the closure of all non-essential businesses.