Press "Enter" to skip to content

Brookings Has Worse Coronavirus Spread Rate than State, Considers Stronger Restrictions on Superspreader Beer Parties

The SDGOP spin blog rarely mentions coronavirus, lest it upset its denialist sponsor Kristi Noem. Republican spinster Pat Powers does utter “coronavirus” in a Tuesday post, but only to foment protest against sensible anti-pandemic measures by the Brookings City Council.

While Powers runs interference for his Governor and big college beer parties, let’s focus on the memo from Brookings city manager Paul Briseno, which explains why the council will consider at tonight’s special meeting an ordinance limiting residential gatherings to ten people and stopping alcohol sales at 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays:

Brookings COVID numbers have increased dramatically over the past week. The guiding metrics have all been triggered with the exception of hospitalization. The current Ordinance (Phase 3) regulates bars, restaurants, salons, and retail. Additional regulations is needed to mitigate the increase in cases. Staff recommends extending the existing ordinance and necessary amendments including regulating residential gatherings to ten or less and ceasing the sale of alcohol past 10 p.m. Thursday – Saturday.

The City of Brookings is currently under Phase 3 with substantial conditions based on the past weeks data. As of Monday the seven-day positive rate is 34%. The desired rate is 5%. As of Monday Brookings County had 321 cases with 183 recovered or 138 active. This past week there have been substantial increases.

At the last City Council meeting thresholds and metrics were provided as guidance for Council and the public of existing conditions. This information is provided by local professionals and weighs metrics such as test positive rates, health care capacity, testing scope and capacity. As of the last report the only metric met was the capacity of hospitalization available [City manager Paul Briseno, memo to Brookings City Council, for special meeting, 2020.09.02].

Another document submitted for tonight’s council meeting notes that the rate of infection in Brookings, as measured by the very useful Rt metric, is much higher than the statewide rate, which itself is the highest in the nation:

"Summary of Brookings Covid-19 Public Health Thresholds: Week Ending 8/28/2020," in agenda for special meeting, Brookings City Council, 2020.09.02.
Summary of Brookings Covid-19 Public Health Thresholds: Week Ending 8/28/2020,” in agenda for special meeting, Brookings City Council, 2020.09.02, p. 1.

Rather than letting Brookings remain a hotbed of coronavirus, maybe the SDGOP’s spon blog should do its neighbors a favor and encourage serious policy interventions against this an evitable virus.


  1. mike from iowa 2020-09-02 11:13

    Noem Nothing has full faith college age and younger lads and lasses will do the right thing and not congregate for the purpose of drinking and socializing? What fools mortal wingnuts be.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-02 11:55

    And now those people Noem trusts are going to protest for their right to hold keggers amidst a pandemic. That sort of selfish hedomism is what Trumpists are really fighting for.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-02 12:00

    The committee calculating Rt, checking the WHO standards, and recommending pandemic control measures includes “Bonny Specker,MS, PhD (epidemiologist), Chris Chase, DVM, PhD (virologist), Gary Gackstetter, DVM, MPH, PhD (epidemiologist), Amy Hockett, RN (Sanford Brookings Clinic Manager), Adam Hoppe, PhD (cell biologist, immunologist), Victor Huber, PhD (virologist, immunologist), Jason Merkley (President, Brookings Health System), Natalie Thiex, MPH, PhD (epidemiologist, toxicologist), Xiuging Wang, PhD (virologist, cell biologist).” Not part of the committee is Sanford Brookings physician Jennifer Olson, who argued against mask requirements in the Brookings School District.

  4. kj trailer trash 2020-09-02 12:01

    Noem disgusts me more every day. She doubles and quadruples down on her stupidity. This is from her FB post today calling for people to contribute to a fund to put up more statues of George and Tom (in the Capitol Building?), and blaming any lack of excitement on what she perceives to be a lack of patriotism on the part of Democrats: “It’s unfortunate that Democrats don’t want to honor America’s heroes.” What a completely dismissive, divisive moron.
    As for Brookings, I’ve been writing down the daily totals for all categories since late June (since I for some reason couldn’t find a “history” of the numbers), and Brookings County’s number of total cases has doubled in 10 days and the number of active cases has increased almost 5-fold in that same time period. So much winning. But, yeah, let’s build a golden calf, Kristi.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-02 12:08

    Brown County’s trendline is clearly upward as well, KJ. Cities should be reimplementing and strengthening the restrictions they implemented in March and April to ward off contagion. Instead, people like Pat Powers, who has largely avoided making any effort to use his platform to educate the public about coronavirus, is encouraging people to march against “government overreach” to protect beer parties.

  6. Donald Pay 2020-09-02 13:42

    A big problem in the US is extended adolescence. People are adults as college students, but many behave as if the freedom that brings means they are free of responsibility.

    My parent’s generation went to WWII after surviving the depression. They had no time for an extended period of drinking and partying as young adults. They were busy saving the world. By the time they got back home they were wanting an adult life.

    Like many South Dakota high school students in the 60s, I drank some and partied, but that ended pretty quickly the summer after graduation. I grew up, I guess, and thought the getting sloppy drunk or taking drugs was juvenile behavior.

    College has become a place to warehouse young adults and give them no responsibility. What do you expect?

    People that age need to take on adult responsibility to find self worth. Otherwise they act like high schoolers. I don’t know how you do that, but I think a year or two of public service work is one way. I appreciated my work at a day care center. It made me grow up and think of something more than myself. Of course I also married young. That will make you become an adult sooner than chasing around the bar scene.

  7. grudznick 2020-09-02 17:25

    Mr. Pay types with some good observations in his words. I say these young partiers need to be put on a school time out and made to go to some hard work for a while to remember why they are supposed to be in school. At least it is good all the demon-weed parties are hidden away in small groups in the shadows, but you know they are inhaling the covid bugs with every toke.

  8. Jake 2020-09-02 18:04

    Some of the problem is, grudz, that a goodly share of parents of these ‘partiers’ have spent the summer extolling the virtues of the current idiot-in-chief and like him, not wearing a mask and categorizing those who do as ‘libtards’ or worse. Can we expect them to do better when on their own away from Dad and Mom and their influence? The disregard for the community welfare seems to be ensconced in conservatism and the GOP. Our governess is a blatant example of “being in charge, but not my problem” governance when it comes to public health.

  9. grudznick 2020-09-02 18:21

    Oh, Mr. Jake, lest you be more careful in the future with your broad strokes, grudznick will now point out all the libbie rioters and looters and criminals. Do not tell me it is just the ultra-right who are irresponsible, for I have seen the movies from Minneapolis and Portland. But you and I, sir, are lucky to live in South Dakota. grudznick just hopes those hard partying rockers at Mines keep their behavior in check so the good eateries in town don’t get shut down.

  10. jerry 2020-09-02 18:58

    Geesh, school isn’t even started and here we are. “Six days before the start of school, Rapid City Area Schools reports it has 13 staff and seven students with active COVID-19 cases. Another 31 close contacts are quarantined and monitoring for symptoms after potential exposure.” Rapid City Journal 9.2.20

    We won’t even be two weeks in and all the parents and grandparents will be dying like flies in one of those stink containers. By the time America and the dumbarse politicos in South Dakota catch up, we will have surpassed the number of dead from the Spanish Flu.

  11. Jake 2020-09-02 19:13

    Yeah, grudz, in your tin-hat mentality ALL the lawless acts in the peaceful protests were caused by those who think Black Lives Matter or that police injustice of the sorts we have seen in the past months where black or brown people were blown away indiscriminately were somehow justified. You know far too little of the influx of right-wing agitators entering peaceful crowds and throwing rocks, bottles, soup cans and all just so the majority of those peaceful marchers would be blamed.
    Do you think for a minute Trump and Company would accept evidence to this?

  12. grudznick 2020-09-02 19:21

    I have seen the movies, Mr. Jake. Have you not looked at most of the looters, thieves, and lawless general shennaniganers? I did not say there were not some registered Republicans in that mess, but most of them were not.

  13. John Dale 2020-09-02 20:17

    Would this be a good time to mention that the tests are rigged (“probably” case load inflation was reversed by CDC) and that the death rate is very low?

    What are we doing here, exactly? Will this be announced as a drill soon, or will we allow the damage to our children continue?

    Talked with 7 Safeway employees today. The masks are taking their humanity. I feel so badly for them .. but not for the non sick, non doctor morons wearing them of their own volition.

    I called Safeway corporate and registered a complaint on behalf of the people who work there. I want to see their smiles again, but not because we’ve capitulated to this fraud.

    This shamdemic.

  14. Donald Pay 2020-09-02 20:21

    Even worse than college students in extended adolescence are mature adults behaving like immature college students, ignoring health science such as mask wearing, holding large rallies and misleading others. Dippy politicians dispensing bad advise on drugs and medical treatments are little better than meth pushers, and ought to be locked up.

  15. grudznick 2020-09-02 20:28

    All those out-of-state bikers that didn’t stay home like they were supposed to really irked grudznick, too, Mr. Pay.

  16. jerry 2020-09-02 20:34

    Pale Dale, stop doing meth, you’re clearly agitated and are incoherent. As your moll, Tinker Belle GNOem says, “Meth, we’re on it”, and I guess she means you.

  17. Scott 2020-09-02 20:41

    How do you stop the house parties in a town like Brookings? What about Volga, Aurora and all the other little towns where students live or can party in?

    You have to give Brookings credit for at least making an effort. That is more than Noem is doing.

    Another approach might be for SDSU to start having classes on Saturday to reduce the free time of students.

  18. Debbo 2020-09-02 20:41

    I’ve learned of a new wingnut lie making the rounds. Did y’all know there were ads in the local Minnesota newspapers recruiting protesters after George Floyd was murdered? Yeah, and they were paid $100 a day. Now the fact that no one in Minnesota can produce said ads, not even wingnuts, and no one got their $100 is apparently proof of nothing.

    On the other hand, after perps are arrested and charged with arson or other destructive riotous acts, their home town is listed with their names. That’s to address the issue Jake mentioned about wingnuts, anarchists and racists of various persuasions invading Minneapolis to riot, as opposed to protesting.

    Thus far, the majority are not from MSP. (Minneapolis St. Paul). They are from the burbs and small towns.

    In Portland it seems that most of the protesters are local and peaceful, with limited exceptions. It was when Cadet Bone Spurs sent in his mercenaries that severe violence broke out.

    After the mercenaries left it was mostly peaceful again till trump cultists arrived in a caravan of ammosexuals a few days ago. Thankfully for Portlanders, the trump thugs didn’t stick around.

  19. jerry 2020-09-02 20:42

    So what happens when the Flu and trump virus collide? Chaos will happen. Wear your masks, wash your little digits (hands Pale Dale) , and keep social distancing. Stop wasting the workers time at Safeway, they are essential and you’re not.

    “In parts of the United States, autumn is coming. The mornings have a coolness. The dogwood leaves show an edge of color. And outside pharmacies, the banners of fall are appearing: “Flu shots here.”

    This year in particular, health authorities hope Americans will listen. The overlap of the influenza season and the coronavirus pandemic could overwhelm the health care system if people don’t take the vaccine and the incidence of flu is high. Planners are worried about renewed pressure on hospital beds and protective equipment, and less visible pressure on laboratories, which have to use the same machinery and supplies to analyze diagnostic tests for both Covid-19 and flu.”

    So now what, Tinker Belle GNOem can spread all the positive fairy dust she can pull out, but that is not a plan. Republicans don’t know how to govern or plan, they only know how to disrupt.

  20. Donald Pay 2020-09-02 20:57

    Sturgis rally, political rallies, fairs, beer bashes, house parties, etc. are all just extended adolescent selfishness that is extending the pain and suffering. All this stuff should be shut down

  21. grudznick 2020-09-02 21:45

    What happens, Mr. Pay, when some rancher has a meadow in the middle of his hundred acre woods and let’s a mob assemble there and drink beer around a bonfire? Or grudznick has 9 friends over and several bring their female friends to serve us food for weekly poker parties? How will the policemen know or stop us? If “sturgis” was closed, what would keep a few hundred thousand out-of-state bikers from driving through town and setting up camp in the parks?

  22. Neal 2020-09-03 01:02

    In what other area of public policy do we have as a guiding principle, as we seem to have with covid, the singular goal of preventing 100% of deaths.

    In what other area of public policy are we this wildly risk averse?

    Vehicle accidents kill tens of thousands per year. We could prevent most of those deaths with extreme government regulations like prohibiting all nonessential travel, unreasonably low speed limits, etc. None of that would be more extreme than shuttering businesses and churches as we have with covid, but we nevertheless permit a policy that tolerates these deaths.

    How about the chronic illnesses that make it much more likely to die from covid, yet kill tens of thousands on their own every year. Hypertension, obesity, heart disease. We could cure a lot of this and prevent countless deaths if we made soda, Doritos, twinkees and the like illegal, but again, a few deaths here and there seem to tolerable on this issue.

    How about tobacco and alcohol? Kills way more than covid, year after year. Easy fix here, just criminalize them. Just like that, hundreds of thousands of lives saved. Why are these deaths not deserving of the same degree of governmental protection that we have utilized for covid?

    I’ll tell you why — it’s because “no one shall ever die” is not a reasonable or realistic public policy objective.

  23. Donald Pay 2020-09-03 06:59

    Neal, there are plenty of areas where regulation has a goal of no human deaths. Water quality, air quality, radiation protection standards are by law set based on science to be as protective of human life and human health as possible. The goal is to protect human life, but then application of technology to address that goal is often incompletr or insufficient.

  24. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-03 07:26

    I don’t like masks, but they don’t take my humanity. People are cloaking their selfishness in exaggerated barroom “philosophy.”

    Dying of coronavirus takes one’s humanity.

  25. mike from iowa 2020-09-03 08:13

    When was the last time college or high school kids threw a party where there was no excessive noise, no excessive vehicle traffic to and from, no excessive number of house lights on or where locals were not aware of such through word of mouth? It just isn’t possible to keep a kegger on the quiet.

  26. o 2020-09-03 08:21

    Neal, I agree, the “pro life” bunch in power are willing to allow people to die for business success. Passing this off as “freedom” is the diversion of attention to keeping the corporate coffers well filled. There. is not reason unhealthy food should be cheaper than healthy food, no reason polluting energy should be subsidized more than clean energy, health care should be unaffordable to far too many Americans. If we were a society and not a business, the United States would not be so quick to sacrifice lives for profit.

  27. jerry 2020-09-03 10:02

    o, you’ve nailed the “pro life” grifters. These grifters have found the perfect way to con the rubes into their fold to suck the money from their bones all the while they prove themselves to all be Jerry Falwell. At least the Moonies were honest about the grift.

  28. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-03 11:42

    A man at the Brookings City Council meeting said last night to great applause, if he dies tomorrow, he dies tomorrow, on his terms.

    The unstated corollary: “If you die to tomorrow, you die tomorrow, on my terms.”

    Imagine if similar comments had been made in the 1940s when we did rationing and planted victory gardens to help win the war. If the Nazis or Japanese kill me, they kill me, but by gum, I’m going to have all the gasoline and rubber and nylon I want, and I’ll be darned if I or my sons answer any draft notice!

    Selfishness is trumping any sense of civic responsibility.

  29. o 2020-09-03 12:50

    Cory: “Selfishness is trumping any sense of civic responsibility.”

    Agreed. But that seems the path of Trump/Conservative/GOP America. When we view this nation as a business and not a society, then it becomes each for his/herself and squeeze as much out of the system as possible for you (and yours); in a zero-sum business paradigm, that means take form others. Trump/Conservatives/GOP do not even put up the facade of a trickle-down effect any more — is is all pure individual greed — the bootstrap, chosen, prosperity gospel, mythology.

  30. Debbo 2020-09-03 14:18

    O is right. For trumpists/GOP, it’s all about greed, pure and simple.

    They’re not real Americans.

  31. o 2020-09-03 17:33

    Debbo, one of my big fears is that they ARE “real Americans”; I fear that what that means has been corrupted and perverted to the point that far too many — getting close to if not at a voting majority — of Americans see this great nation, this great SOCIETY as nothing more than raw material to exploit for selfish personal gain. The depravity is that Trump and his 1% ilk are the ones being fed by this corporate machine, especially by those poor saps who think they are in it with the big boys. These desperate followers empower the pillagers, the pillaging and the absolute removal of responsibility. That is not a society.

  32. jerry 2020-09-03 18:56

    Indeed o, they refuse to honor American war dead, and call them “losers”. Unless they are confederate, then they go ga ga and want to keep the statues.

    “Report: Trump refused to honor American war dead, calling them ‘losers”

    Well, there ya go, corporate thieves and liars with trump at the lead. Where do we go from here? It wouldn’t surprise me to see these guys getting us into a shooting war with someone in the next few weeks. But maybe we just wouldn’t go. Booyah!

  33. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-09-03 19:47

    Are there any businesspeople left who acknowledge that socialism is in their best interest, that they make money only when everyone can make money, that we can’t have robust capitalism without a robust, cooperating community?

  34. Caleb 2020-09-03 20:15

    Despite growing up in a multidisciplinary business setting, and now much later owning a business, I’ve never adopted the business-first-and-foremost dogma, no matter how much it interferes with my daily thought due to constraints our poorly designed economy puts on me, and I believe socialism would be more ideal for most citizens. Maybe that wouldn’t be the case if I didn’t both live in poverty and so frequently interface with customers in poverty, though.

    Meanwhile, I understand why those who lack imagination and critical thinking would fear the narrow idea of socialism (often unrepresentative) handed to them by our gutted education system and our most prominent media, both private and public. They all too often don’t understand their opponents’ ideas while they project upon those ideas what the fearmongering commercials and their preferred politicians tell them.

    Side note to that last statement: one thing I find disturbing from last night’s red-shirted crowd was their propensity to point out others live in fear while not at all acknowledging they fear a totalitarian government and/or living with the same uncertainty poor people have experienced most or all their lives. Fear is a reasonable thing to hold in human existence when life is constantly threatening. They shaming others’ fear betrays their lack of empathy and their selfishness, something upon which I believe we can all constantly improve.

  35. o 2020-09-04 08:56

    Cory, exactly! Even Ford realized that he needed to pay his workers and give them time off to be able to exploit them as consumers. I really do not understand how the modern businessman/woman can expect to have paying customers when there is a such a unified effort to rob workers of any consumer power (salary).

  36. o 2020-09-04 08:59

    Jerry, I believe the ONLY reason we are not in a new shooting war/distraction is that we are now spread so thin from the previous engagements we have not found ways out of yet.

  37. jerry 2020-09-04 09:15

    Besides, under the virus called trump, any war dead would just be called “losers and suckers”. Don’t get shot or lose a leg or arm either, because the virus called trump doesn’t want to see that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.