by: Don Jorgensen

Posted: / Updated:

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The City of Sioux Falls has seen a downward trend in COVID-19 cases and hasn’t seen the surge in hospitalizations it was expecting.

That’s why the city will be voting next Tuesday on repealing the so-called ‘no mingling’ ordinance.

The city implemented the ‘no mingling’ ordinance two weeks ago to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.

But thanks to the social distancing and good hygiene efforts by the community, the city will look at easing those restrictions starting next week based on this data that shows a 14-day downward trend of COVID-19 cases.

“This is one of the major pieces of data that’s really driving some of our decision making right now that we continue to see some of this downward trajectory when we had this increase that was some of the community testing that was being completed but we are slowly, slowly seeing a consistent decrease in that time period,” Franken said.

COVID-19 has put a lot of things on hold; like graduations, weddings and funerals, but doctors from both Avera and Sanford say another thing that was put on hold were elective surgeries and some in-person hospital visits; but that’s changing too as they are reopening for required health care.

“So if you’ve put off any needed health care, any maintenance or preventative health care, if your children need immunizations, if you have screening exams that you should be getting done please, please call your physician’s clinic schedule these things,” Dr. Mike Elliot Chief Medical Officer of Avera McKennan said.

“There will always be the ability for video visits and telehealth visits, but we are really seeing a need now to get back to some of the routine care,” Dr. Mike Wilde Vice-President Medical Officer at Sanford Health said.

But they still want people to wear masks in public, continue good social distancing and good hygiene, because they say the COVID-19 pandemic is not over despite these encouraging trends.

“All of that is really good news and does give us some sense of comfort that we can continue to loosen our approach in this community,” Franken said.

The city says it will keep its emergency operations center open to monitor the situation moving forward and will make additional recommendations and changes if needed.

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