Council Approves New COVID-19 Ordinance

At a special City Council meeting this morning, May 7, 2020, the Sioux Falls City Council voted to ease business limitations necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Sioux Falls region. The new ordinance (47-20) passed 7-1.

“Based on the best available data, this ordinance is the right step for Sioux Falls’ public health and economy at this time,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Now is certainly not the time to declare victory over COVID-19 or completely turn off the faucet on our mitigation efforts. We are, however, at a point based on updated projections by the City, Avera and Sanford Health, where we can ease some of the mitigation efforts. By expanding businesses’ on-site capacity, we can protect public health and continue to help local businesses.”

The new “No Mingling” ordinance applies to all businesses in the city limits of Sioux Falls. All businesses are expected to maintain social distancing between parties and should implement or continue to implement procedures to ensure compliance with federal and state health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Under the new ordinance, groups of parties are limited to six adults (minors are not included in party limits) on premise at all licensed food service entities (i.e., restaurants, food courts, coffee houses, bars, breweries, distilleries, wineries, clubs and cafes). Businesses need to limit patrons served to a maximum of 10 patrons or separate all parties by at least 6 feet from other parties, whichever is greater. Recreational facilities, athletic facilities, health clubs, and entertainment venues must limit the number of on-site patrons at any given time by 10 patrons or 50 percent of the building’s occupancy.

The ordinance passed today also repeals the “No Lingering” ordinance previously in place which limited capacity to ten patrons at one time in licensed food service entities, recreational facilities, athletic facilities, health clubs and entertainment venues.

In April, the City launched its SOAR (Supporting Operations and Resiliency) team to work with business and nonprofit leaders on their compliance with City ordinances, state directives, application of best practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as innovative approaches to protect the health and safety of employees, clients and customers.

Organizations in need of technical assistance can contact the SOAR team by calling 2-1-1 or emailing

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