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Sioux Falls to Consider Stay-at-Home Order; Golfing Still Essential

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.


  1. Buckobear 2020-04-15 11:14

    Has anyone considered how much of the virus was injected into the food supply by Smithfield Sioux Falls??
    At least klueless kristi knows where to go for subjects for her worthless trump tests.
    How ‘bout using that money on getting a viable testing program??

  2. bearcreekbat 2020-04-15 11:33

    I read that Noem oddly defended her failure to act on the theory that closing Sioux Falls would not have prevented the spread of the virus at Smithfield. See e.g.,

    Noem seems oblivious to the more significant danger that without such an order Smithfield employees are free to congregate with the public at bars, clubs or anywhere else groups might gather without a restriction thereby spreading the virus across the population among non-Smithfield employees.

  3. Moses6 2020-04-15 12:22

    wow Kristi and mayor ten has made us the number one hot spot.I would rather be number one for higher wages in the country.

  4. mike from iowa 2020-04-15 12:22

    Noem is in over her head, like drumpf. The little lady (I’m a condescending brute) needs to retire to her fantasy family farm and collect subsidies., a job she has shown to be proficient at.

  5. Moses6 2020-04-15 12:39

    Wow you think the subsidy queen would have known to close the barn door before letting all the cattle out. looks like the mayor in Sioux Falls now trying to get the cattle in the barn a little to late.

  6. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2020-04-15 13:41

    Ten Haken’s order doesn’t even go into effect until April 24th. We need to close Sioux Falls down now!

    The one thing that South Dakota, and especially Sioux Falls, has going for it is, that the number of deaths is very low in this state because of COVID-19. But that will drastically change, if we don’t shut down Sioux Falls soon, I am afraid. If you look at the current COVID-19 stats in this state, we have a much large number of younger people who are infected than the national average, who are more likely to survive COVID-19, and which is mostly because of Smithfield, but that will change, I am afraid, if we wait until April 24th for a shelter-in-place.

    As long as we wait until April 24th, then this fight between Noem and Ten Haken is nothing but a Republican battle, while the elderly population in our state, and especially in Sioux Falls, become nothing but a political football passed back and forth due to the political ambitions of two.

    I never voted for Janklow, I didn’t care for his politics, but he was an intelligent and a proactive leader, and this is the time for Noem and Ten Haken to find their inner Janklow in themselves and shut Sioux Falls down immediately!

    I also find ironic, that Ten Haken’s proclamation for April 24th makes mention of all of these warnings about COVID-19 going back to early January, yet, Ten Haken as late as March 11th, thought that the big news for Sioux Falls for the week of March 9th thru the 15th was the fact that Chic-Fil-A was coming to Sioux Falls.

    Also, we still need to know when Sioux Falls and state officials first new about Smithfield’s problem. Because if we don’t, then nothing will really have been learned from this current challenge and possibly greater tragedy.

  7. mike from iowa 2020-04-15 13:42

    If she waits much longer, much of the danger will have hopefully passed….

    Last updated: April 15, 2020, 18:35 GMT
    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:

  8. Moses6 2020-04-15 13:49

    John Tenhaken sub standard mayor,Noem no clue but to obey her master Trump.

  9. Korey Jackson 2020-04-15 14:12

    Are Smithfield employees, especially those testing sick, and their contacts, not already quarantined?

    And are not most Sioux Falls restaurants and bars already closed, except for curbside, take-our, or delivery?

  10. Richard Schriever 2020-04-15 14:20

    mike – don’t fall into the trap of an early dismissal of it all. Those numbers you cite are a mere pittance vs. the 340MM American residents. The total number of cases are 1 10th of one percent (1 person in 1,000) in the US). That leaves 999 of 1,000 who have not YET been infected. This is only the beginning of this situation. 17 more months to go – at a minimum.

  11. Richard Schriever 2020-04-15 14:22

    Korey – that’s all on a voluntary basis. I.E., just ordinary people who know better to our “leaders”.

  12. Korey Jackson 2020-04-15 14:43

    Richard – so Public Health officials in the Sioux Falls area with the authority to order isolation of those testing positive or are symptomatic are not, or are, using their authority?

    And are those public health officials, in contact tracing, not using their authority to order the quarantine of those contacts of those known sick with highly communicable disease?

  13. mike from iowa 2020-04-15 14:49

    Thanks, Richard, but I’m all in for the long haul. drumpf wants us to die and I am obstinate enough to tell him to shove it. Him and all his enablers.

  14. Buckobear 2020-04-15 15:28

    Mfi’s numbers figure up to be a 4.4% rate of mortality …… and these, by and large, are only for CONFIRMED (THAT IS, TESTED), cases. We have no idea of the actual rate of
    A) infection, and
    B) mortality

    Thanks kristi, you’re proving yourself more worthless with each passing day.

  15. mike from iowa 2020-04-15 16:49

    Last updated: April 15, 2020, 21:47 GMT
    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:

  16. mike from iowa 2020-04-15 19:34

    Final body count for today….

    Last updated: April 16, 2020, 00:27 GMT
    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:

  17. mike from iowa 2020-04-15 19:45

    Covid-19 been good for Jeff bezos. Amazon stock jumped and Bezos picks up 24 billion to add to his fortune.

  18. Debbo 2020-04-15 20:31

    In spite of abundant evidence in front of my face, I continue to find it difficult to comprehend how callously and cruelly the GOP disregards human suffering and death. On such an enormous scale, federal to cities, it’s just about overwhelming. The Nazis had nothing on these guys except methods.

  19. jerry 2020-04-15 20:50

    Rapid City Regional Airport cannot test travelers coming into Rapid City or leaving. What about Sioux Falls Airport? If they aren’t testing passengers and they are the hot spot of the country or one of them, how will all of that work? I see that one of those workers at the plant died, so the mayor certainly needs to act quickly to shut the place down.

  20. Debbo 2020-04-16 01:30

    Lee Schaefer is without doubt one of the best business writers in the country and that’s not only due to his Pulitzer. He’s willing to do plenty of research and listen and learn. His most recent column is on when to start loosening restrictions so more people get back to work. He writes for the Strib.

    Schaefer spoke with Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, an organization of top executives from more than 100 of the largest employers.

    “He understands the horrible economic consequence of this,” Weaver said [of Gov. Walz]. “But at the same time the only thing that would be worse would be to go back too early, and end up with a whole another explosion of the disease.”

    These are the critical issues to resolve:

    “The first decision is timing. Weaver said currently the thinking is four weeks after a streak of consecutive days with declining numbers of new cases begins, meaning the peak has passed.

    “Then it’s who should come back, maybe starting with people who want to return along with others who really need to be at work to be productive.

    “Employers have to think about how employees get protected at work. Can plastic screens allow for enough safety while workers can still see each other? Can more doors be opened for people to get in and out of the facility without getting too close?

    “Another critical capability that will make returning to work possible is quick and accessible testing. Workers and customers need confidence that people who are contagious or had been exposed to the virus have been quickly identified and then sent home. Is that the employer’s responsibility or the government’s?

    “There is a need both for testing people who might have symptoms or reason to think they’ve been exposed to the virus, and also testing that would confirm that somebody already had COVID-19 and is no longer contagious.

    “Better ways to trace contacts of anyone who had been in close contact with a person who had tested positive is another need.”

  21. Debbo 2020-04-16 01:35

    Nobody is buying Smithfield’s *dire* warning about running out of pork.

    “The chief of the nation’s largest pork producer raised an alarm about food supplies in announcing the indefinite closure of its massive slaughterhouse in Sioux Falls this weekend, but plenty of other plants remain open with nearly a half million pigs arriving at them daily.”

    Adam Belz, Strib

  22. mike from iowa 2020-04-16 10:55

    Breaking news! Please read latest info on revised death count in the US, included in this graph:

    Last updated: April 16, 2020, 15:47 GMT
    April 14 – 15 Change in US Data
    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:

    Data change can be copied and pasted.

  23. Debbo 2020-04-16 17:16

    Politico has an article about governors and states with no shutdown plan.

    “Over the last five days, confirmed cases have increased more than 30 percent in North Dakota, 22 percent in Arkansas, 26 percent in Oklahoma, and 260 percent in South Dakota. That compares to roughly 26 percent over the same period in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic.”

    It’s a rather well researched, detailed story.

    Hot spots erupt in farm belt states where governors insist lockdowns aren’t needed

  24. KOREY JACKSON 2020-04-16 17:40

    Per today’s South Dakota Department of Health Conference Call at 11:45am and Governor Noem’s daily COVID update at 1:00pm:

    Of South Dakota’s 1,311 COVID-positive cases, 598 are from the Sioux Falls Smithfield Plant. An additional 135 COVID-positive are tied to Smithfield Employees Contacts.

    Governor Noem briefed that the total number currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in South Dakota is 36.

  25. Debbo 2020-04-16 17:57

    Minnesota is up to 1912 confirmed cases and 94 deaths. 6 confirmed cases in my county.

    Our more moronic citizens are planning to protest the life saving shutdown at the governor’s house in a day or two. Other Minnesotans are asking the “protestors” to do three things:
    1. Never whine about Black Lives protestors again.
    2. Sign documents promising to stay out of medical facilities as they contract COVID-19.
    3. Stand real close together.

  26. Debbo 2020-04-16 20:15

    Totally, perfectly topical.

    The Roger Cornelius Memorial Cartoon by Marty Two Bulls:

  27. Korey Jackson 2020-04-17 15:16

    At this afternoon’s (Friday) Sioux Falls special City Council Meeting with a briefing on the latest modeling for the City of Sioux Falls/Minnehaha County/Lincoln County, Mayor TenHaken announced that he believes that the Wednesday-requested Stay-in-Place ordinance is not needed; that the desired social distancing and curve flattening should be achievable with stricter enforcement of existing ordinances and regulations, and compliance with city and state executive orders.

  28. Donald Pay 2020-04-17 15:50

    From Korey Jackson: “Mayor TenHaken announced that he believes that the Wednesday-requested Stay-in-Place ordinance is not needed; that the desired social distancing and curve flattening should be achievable with stricter enforcement of existing ordinances and regulations, and compliance with city and state executive orders.”

    You know, I couldn’t understand why existing ordinances couldn’t have been used from the git go in South Dakota. Mayors all over the country are using existing ordinances to shut down and limit activities, and it doesn’t take 5 or 7 days to do. TenHaken must have lacked courage, or he had bad legal advice. He dithered for so long that some of the deaths are really on him, though Kristi is more of a Grim Reaper than a Governor. Many Mayors also enact “Stay-In-Place” resolutions, because it wraps everything into a health emergency language.

    Well, as long as he takes strong measures and stops pussyfooting around, maybe he can limit the deaths. If this is just another way to choreograph more pussyfooting, he’s killing more people.

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