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Posted on: April 7, 2020

Governor’s executive order restricts public gatherings of more than 10 people

Governor’s executive order restricts public gatherings of more than 10 people

Updated order requires compliance from all South Dakotans, businesses, local governments

SPEARFISH, SD (April 7, 2020) – All South Dakota residents should be aware that currently, public gatherings of 10 people or more are restricted.

Governor Kristi Noem’s April 6 executive order states this and a number of items that every South Dakotan, employer, business, healthcare organization, and local and municipal government “shall” do during the pandemic.

This updated executive order, signed Monday, April 6, strengthens the language of the previous executive order, signed March 23, which encouraged compliance. The updated executive order requires compliance from all citizens, businesses, healthcare organizations, and local and municipal governments. It includes that all local and municipal governments within the state restrict public gatherings of 10 people or more, unless it is necessary, and the City of Spearfish continues to implement measures to comply.

The City had already closed public facilities; implemented remote public meetings through teleconference; enacted an ordinance to restrict in-person business within “enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings,” such as restaurants, bars, breweries, and other eateries, encouraging delivery, curbside, and delivery service; and placed signs throughout the park and recreation path systems to remind people to social distance and follow all recommended Centers for Disease Control (CDC) hygiene practices, such as washing hands, etc.

After the April 6 executive order, the City is putting up signs throughout public open spaces telling people not to gather in groups of more than 10. The City also continues to monitor business establishments to ensure that they are following the mandates in the Governor’s executive order, as well as the City’s ordinance, in effect through Wednesday, April 15 that closes businesses of “public accommodation offering food and beverages for on-site consumption,” such as restaurants, bars, coffee houses, clubs, etc., to on-site/on-sale patrons. During this time, the businesses can continue to provide takeout, delivery, curbside, and drive-thru services, using social distancing practices and following all guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The ordinance also closes all recreation facilities, public pools, health clubs, athletic facilities, gyms, fitness centers, theaters, entertainment venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, casinos, and other recreational/entertainment facilities through Wednesday, April 15.

The City’s ordinance does not apply to:

  • Places of public accommodation that offer food and beverages for off-site consumption, including grocery stores, markets, retail stores that offer food/beverages, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries (other than any portion of aforementioned businesses that offer on-site consumption, in which case, would be closed to on-site consumption)
  • Retail stores
  • Room service in hotels
  • Health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and correctional facilities
  • Crisis shelters, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, or other similar institutions
  • Any emergency facilities necessary for the response to the current public health emergency or any other community emergency or disaster
  • Official meetings of the city, schools, county, or state
  • The operations and meetings of any state or federal courts
  • Any business that does not fall within the descriptions listed in the ordinance that are required to close.

Many local businesses voluntarily limited access, reduced hours, or closed prior to the ordinance. All businesses that remain open are encouraged to follow all CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and must follow the mandates in the Governor’s executive order. The full text of the executive order can be found here.

All residents shall practice all recommended CDC guidelines, which currently include:

  • Avoid groups of 10 or more people;
  • Practice social distancing, keeping at least 6 feet away from others;
  • Avoid non-essential travel;
  • 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.

For more information, visit https://www.cityofspearfish.com/723/COVID-19.

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