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Posted on: March 13, 2020

Spearfish public facilities to have limited availability/close following Gov.’s state of emergency

Spearfish public facilities to have limited availability/close following Governor’s state of emergency declaration

SPEARFISH, SD – Following South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s Friday declaration of a state of emergency and statewide closure of all public schools next week, the City of Spearfish is following suit and limiting access to or closing its public facilities next week.

“We are in close contact with Monument Health, the state Department of Health, and our partnering agencies, following the guidance of the Governor and the Centers for Disease Control and working together to assist the public with social distancing during this time,” Spearfish Mayor Dana Boke said, adding that as of right now, there are no confirmed coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) cases identified in Spearfish or Lawrence County. “Our priority is the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community, and we are establishing procedures and taking precautions to protect our citizens and staff, as well as avoid, as best as possible, the interruption of critical City-provided services.”

Beginning tonight, public facilities including the Spearfish Recreation and Aquatics Center, Grace Balloch Memorial Library, and Spearfish City Hall will be closed to the general public through next week, with availability to certain offices by appointment only. The regular Spearfish City Council meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, is still scheduled and will be open to the public, though people who are showing any signs of illness are encouraged to stay home and provide any comments for public hearings, etc., in writing prior to the meeting. These public facilities will reopen at a later date per evaluation of the pandemic and state recommendations.

The City of Spearfish appreciates the public’s help in the prevention effort and provides several opportunities for citizens to conduct City business online as everyone considers careful precautions and social distancing to help avoid the spread of germs. Citizens are encouraged to pay their utility bills online or by utilizing the Utility Payment Dropbox outside of City Hall and utilize online and telephone services to conduct any other business they would normally conduct by entering City facilities. Contacts for the various City departments are available on the City’s website, cityofspearfish.com, by clicking on the appropriate department under the “Departments” header at the top of the homepage, or under the “I want to…” tab, under “Contact.”

Public facilities including the W.S. Tretheway Pavilion, Snappers Club, Hudson Hall, and all other rental facilities like picnic shelters will be closed beginning on Monday, March 16, and will remain closed until directed otherwise by the Mayor. The state Department of Public Safety announced the closure of all driver’s licensing facilities next week.

City employees who work at the facilities with limited access or closures will be redeployed to other work areas, with City Administration considering which employees are able to work from home. These decisions are being made on a case-by-case basis.

“The City of Spearfish is closely monitoring the developments in the global COVID-19 pandemic and is in close contact with our state and local officials regarding mitigation efforts going forward,” City Administrator Mike Harmon said. “The situation continues to develop each day, and we will continue to take steps to adapt to the conditions as they emerge.”

The City encourages all citizens to take precautions to protect their wellbeing and echoes the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) recommendations for everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Anyone experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath are directed to call their healthcare provider before going to a clinic or hospital – even if they already have an appointment. This will help the healthcare provider’s office to take steps to keep others from getting infected or exposed.

The City will use CivicReady, an electronic mass communication tool through the City’s website, as its primary communications tool during the outbreak. The City encourages citizens to sign up for CivicReady at https://www.cityofspearfish.com/632/Emergency-Alerts for CivicReady to receive alerts, and updates will also be posted on the City’s homepage, www.cityofspearfish.com. In addition, the City will utilize Facebook, email, local media, and other communications tools readily available to communicate updates and COVID-19 related news.

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