Sioux Falls City Council considers stronger COVID-19 mitigation efforts

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Sioux Falls Board of Health held a special session Tuesday to discuss the possibility of having to take stronger mitigation efforts to combat COVID-19 in Sioux Falls.

No decisions or official recommendations were made during the meeting by the Board of Health, but the reality of potentially having to make some big decisions soon was at the forefront of the discussion.

Sioux Falls Public Health Director Jill Franken told the Board of Health to be ready to have more special session meetings in the near future.

"I would really just ask that you (Sioux Falls Board of Health) be at the ready to consider additional mitigation efforts that we may need to take," Franken said.

The board has already passed two recommendations limiting the number of people allowed to gather in city owned facilities. Those were both adopted by the Sioux Falls City Council.

At the meeting Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Paul TenHaken took the podium to say that he intends on recommending to the Sioux Falls City Council that stronger action must be taken.

"You don't have to worry about your (Sioux Falls Board of Health Members) houses getting egged or any decision you make, the buck stops with me, I'm the first recommendation to the council for their either thumbs up or thumbs down for whatever way we have to head," Mayor TenHaken said.

But for some local businesses, like the Cookie Jar Eatery, they've taken matters into their own hands and already elected to close their doors to the public.

"If I said I wasn't stressed about it I'd be lying, it is stressful because you don't know what's next," Cookie Jar Co-owner Glenn Koch said.

Though it was a tough decision to close up shop, Koch knows it is the right choice.

"Mostly it's about trying to keep everyone safe and well," Koch said. "Both Elaine and I, we're in our 60's and we're in that quote 'high risk' category, so we certainly don't want to catch it, because we have grandkids that we still have to do a lot of stuff with."

Until they can reopen their doors, the Cookie Jar will only be fulfilling special orders.