Sioux Falls city leaders to discuss 'no lingering' law Thursday

Two Sioux Falls boards are set to take up discussion on an ordinance that would restrict how many people could gather at certain businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Sioux Falls Health Board will first take action on the ordinance Thursday at 2 p.m. It would then move to the City Council, which is meeting at 4 p.m. If the City Council passes it, the law would take effect immediately, officials say.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken reiterated the goal of the bill in a briefing Thursday morning.

TenHaken called his proposal a "no lingering" ordinance. It would require businesses like bars, restaurants, casinos, and health clubs to limit patrons on premises to less than ten.

The mayor said it will not close any businesses, but is designed to encourage people to "get in, and get out." The goal is to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.

TenHaken initially announced the proposal Wednesday. He said it is in response to suggestions from an executive order issued by Gov. Kristi Noem earlier this week.

Other topics from Thursday's briefing

TenHaken said city parks will remain open, but that could potentially change down the road. He advised people to use common sense and practice social distancing at parks.

The mayor also suggested to anyone who is "bored" to fill out their 2020 census forms. He said the census is vital for the city's funding.

Helpline Center CEO Janet Kittman also spoke at Thursday's briefing, saying the 211 Helpline has seen a jump in calls recently. They range from simple calls of gratitude, to pleas of help from people who are unable to feed their families.

Kittman said 211 is offering several resources to help in the response to COVID-19. More information is available on their website.

More: City of Sioux Falls' COVID-19 resource page

Several Sioux Falls officials are set to give an update Thursday morning about efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

Dakota News Now will carry the briefing live at 10:30 a.m. You can watch it online on our Facebook page.