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Sioux Falls to Reconsider Mask Ordinance


After rejecting a mask mandate last week, the Sioux Falls City Council is likely to pass a version that removes fines and other penalties.

Local health leaders support the measure regardless of enforcement.

Mayor TenHaken says removing penalties from the mask ordinance makes it easier to support.

“Enforceability and protecting law enforcement is a big concern of mine.”

TenHaken cast the tie-breaking vote against the ordinance last week.

But removing penalties isn’t the only thing that’s changed the mayor’s opinion on a mandate.

“Our healthcare partners have, for the first time, asked for a mask mandate in the city. Um. That’s new.”

TenHaken did not say which local healthcare group requested the mandate. He says he also received a letter of support from the South Dakota State Medical Association. In the letter, the association supports a statewide mask mandate as well as local mandates.

Mayor TenHaken says city council will also consider a resolution called the One Sioux Falls COVID Action Plan.

“It’s gonna be a thirty-day plan with the opportunity to extend that. But really the goal with that is to start to shift the dialogue away from just one single mitigation measure and look at what are all the things we need to adopt as a community?”

He says that plan will cover mask, social distancing, and preserving community mental health.