After being rebuffed by Governor Kristi Noem in requests for a statewide stay-at-home order and a quarantine camp for folks with coronavirus, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken may finally be ready to bite the bullet and enact an enforceable stay-at-home order in one of the hottest coronavirus cities in the country.
KELO Radio posts the proposed ordinance, which the Sioux Falls City Council will consider tonight. It will direct all Sioux Falls residents to stay home unless they are working at a “critical infrastructure sector job” or engaging in an “essential activity”:
Which jobs are considered critical?
The ordinance defers to federal guidance from the Department of Homeland Security outlining which jobs need to keep running during the pandemic. The list includes health care, construction, banking and biotech companies, among others. You can read the full list here.
Which activities are considered essential?
The ordinance includes a list of 15 types of activities that are allowable under the order. They include “essential errands” like going to the grocery store, pharmacy or gas station. Going to a restaurant to get drive-thru or takeout is also allowed. Same goes for going to school to pick up food or educational materials. The ordinance also allows for certain outdoor activities like walking in the park, jogging, playing tennis and golfing, provided people practice social distancing [Carter Woodiel, “Breaking Down Sioux Falls’ Proposed Stay at Home Order,” KELO Radio, 2020.04.14].
I could be put off by an order that deems golfing an essential activity, but I’m willing to support the notion that allowing residents some individual outdoor recreation is essential to the physical and mental well-being of a populace deprived of so much else of normal life. Walk the links, run the trails, bike the streets—people need to get outside to stretch their legs and blow off steam.
And otherwise, everyone in Sioux Falls needs to stay home and away from each other to check the spread of coronavirus that Smithfield let get out of hand.
Related Reading: NPR is crediting TenHaken with forcing Smithfield to close its covid-19-stricken packing plant.