SPEARFISH, SD – Following Governor Kristi Noem’s executive order Monday, Spearfish Mayor Dana Boke is urging residents and local businesses to take the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) seriously and help slow the growing threat of community spread by following the guidance within the executive order.
“While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lawrence County, I urge everyone to be proactive in preventing the spread of this respiratory disease, currently known to be spread by person-to-person contact, among other methods,” Mayor Boke said. “This is a public health emergency, with the President declaring a national emergency and the Governor of our state declaring a state of emergency and now signing an executive order stipulating steps we should all take to help stop the spread. We need to take the recommendations for social distancing seriously.”
Gov. Noem’s executive order (in its entirety at the end of this release) states a number of items that every South Dakotan, employer, business, healthcare organization, and local and municipal government should be doing during the pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidance to state and local governments and all citizens recommending steps to prevent community spread and guard against COVID-19, including staying home when ill, practicing social distancing, washing hands, cleaning frequently-touched surfaces, etc. The executive order encourages all citizens to review and practice the recommended CDC hygiene practices, know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and implement social distancing measures. These measures include suspending or modifying business practices that involve 10 or more people to be in an enclosed space where physical separation of at least 6 feet is not possible, as recommended by CDC guidance, the executive order states.
Several local governments across the state are taking additional steps to enact ordinances and resolutions related to COVID-19. Spearfish will call a city council meeting later this week to consider additional steps, and in the meantime, with schools and universities across the state currently closed, offering remote education to students, Mayor Boke urged every “enclosed retail business that promotes public gatherings” that fall into the following categories to take like measures:
- Coffee shops
- Health club
- Recreational or athletic facility, including gyms, bowling alleys, etc.
- Other similar businesses of public accommodation
Drive-thru, outside pick-up, and delivery services utilizing proper social distancing and sanitization techniques are encouraged, Mayor Boke said.
The recommendation for business modification or closure to in-person business does not apply to grocery stores, markets, retail stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, food pantries, room service in hotels, health care facilities, crisis centers, and nonprofits offering assistance programs.
Mayor Boke stressed the importance of every resident taking COVID-19 precautions.
“We all must work together to ‘flatten the curve,’” she said. “Small businesses are our lifeblood, and I do not take lightly the impact that these measures are going to have on our community as a whole.”
The City is also launching a specific COVID-19 webpage on its website, cityofspearfish.com, where residents can find out the latest information, request information about how to access needed resources, or find out more about how they or their organization can help with the needs in the community. Visit the page at https://www.cityofspearfish.com/723/COVID-19