The Sioux Falls City Council voted against an ordinance that would have required masks indoors when social distancing isn’t possible. After nearly three hours of public comment and discussion, Mayor Paul TenHaken delivered the tie-breaking vote against the ordinance. 

City Council members maintained their divided opinions on the mask mandate. Supporters cited the rising case counts and a need to protect hospital capacity however possible. Opponents say a mandate is difficult to enforce, sows community division, and violates principles of personal liberty. 

City of Sioux Falls

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in and around Sioux Falls. Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties make up 25% of the state’s total active cases.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken is not pursuing a city-wide mask mandate, but he is encouraging businesses and individuals to double-down on COVID-19 prevention measures.

Mayor TenHaken says all 1,300 city employees are now required to wear masks in an effort to prevent spreading the coronavirus. As for a city-wide mandate:

“You will not see my administration mandating any mask-wearing requirements at this time.”

BOR Approves Mask Requirements for Fall Semester

Jul 22, 2020

The Board of Regents is implementing a policy for mask requirements on campuses this fall. The state’s six public universities will require masks in all public indoor spaces for at least the first month of the semester.

The protocol has four levels. Level one only requires masks in labs or other instructional settings that require close contact; level four requires masks both indoors and outdoors.

SDPB News: July 21

Jul 21, 2020

Will South Dakota universities and colleges require masks this coming semester? This and more in today's SDPB News Podcast.


U.S. colleges and universities are debating whether to require masks for students and faculty this fall. South Dakota’s public universities encourage masks on campus, and four of the state’s five private institutions will require masks in most indoor settings.

Augustana University, the University of Sioux Falls, Dakota Wesleyan University and Presentation College will require masks on campus. They say CDC guidelines and scientific consensus say masks help prevent transmission of COVID 19.