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200 N. Phillips Ave. Suite 200
Sioux Falls, SD 57104


(605) 336-1620


(605) 336-6499


The Chamber Advocate

March 27, 2020

Summary of the City's COVID-19 business restriction ordinance

Below is the summary of the City Council adopted on March 26, 2020 in response to the community spread of COVID-19.


  • "Social distancing" describes a separation of at least 6' between individuals.
  • "Enclosed retail business that promotes public gathering" describes any enclosed facility operating as a bar, restaurant, brewery, café, casino, coffee shop, recreational or athletic facility, health club, or entertainment venue. In addition, an "enclosed retail business that promotes public gathering" will also include any parking lot and/or patio or other outdoor seating area for the facility.
  • "Patron" describes a customer of the "enclosed retail business that promotes a public gathering" and does not include employees or staff.

City-Owned Property:

 The following City buildings and venues will remain closed to the general public:

  • Denny Sanford PREMIER Center;
  • Sioux Falls Convention Center;
  • Sioux Falls Arena;
  • Orpheum Theater;
  • Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science
  • Midco® Aquatic Center;
  • Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum;
  • Mabel and Judy Jasper Educational Center located at the Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historic Site;
  • Falls Park Visitor Center;
  • City Hall, excluding the Mayor's Office; and
  • City Center Administration Building; and
  • The Sioux Falls community centers shall remain closed until the Sioux Falls School District resumes classes.

Exception: The Carnegie Hall will continue to be used for public meetings but will be closed to the public when a public meeting is not in session. The public is encouraged to watch public gatherings remotely in order to allow for proper social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Private Businesses:

Any enclosed retail business that promotes public gathering shall modify business practices in order to ensure that not more than ten patrons are on the premises for onsite use of the services and/or consumption of the goods at any given time. Such businesses are encouraged to consider utilizing business models that do not involve public gatherings, including takeout, delivery, drive-thru, curbside service, and off-site services.

The restrictions set forth for private businesses shall not apply to the following:

  • Health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and correctional facilities;
  • Childcare facilities;
  • Businesses that offer food and beverages solely for off-site consumption, including grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries, other than the portion of such businesses that are designed and intended for seated, on-site consumption.
  • Hotel/motel room service;
  • Airport concessionaires;
  • Crisis shelters, homeless shelters, churches, soup kitchens, or other similar institutions;
  • Traditional golf courses, but any bar or restaurant associated with a golf course shall abide by the public gathering restrictions.
  • Any emergency facility necessary for the response to the current COVID-19 emergency or any other community emergency or disaster.

The private businesses and entities identified in the above section shall take all reasonable measures to ensure social distancing and sanitation is being utilized as is feasible and comply with federal and state health guidelines in order to prevent the spread of the virus causing COVID-19. Such businesses are further encouraged to consider, to the extent applicable and feasible, providing for special access periods for populations particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Nothing herein shall act or be interpreted as authorization for any off-sale alcoholic beverage sales by any licensee in violation of their respective license as defined in SDCL Title 35.

The restrictions set forth above do not prohibit an owner, employee, contractor, vendor, or supplier of the above-addressed entities from entering, exiting, using, or occupying a place of business in their professional capacity, so long as procedures are implemented to ensure social distancing to the full extent reasonably possible.

The business entity, owner, and supervising manager of any business that refuses to comply with these regulations shall be deemed to be in violation of the ordinance.

All other employers, both for profit and not for profit, within the city of Sioux Falls are urged and encouraged to implement procedures to ensure social distancing between persons as is feasible and ensure the business or entity operates in compliance with federal and state guidelines. To prevent the spread of the virus causing COVID-19 employers should:

    • Allow employees to work remotely if possible;
    • Limit unnecessary employee gatherings;
    • Eliminate nonessential travel; and
    • Consider regular health checks including guidance from the CDC for COVID-19 screening if possible.

Citizens of Sioux Falls:

All individuals within the city of Sioux Falls are urged and encouraged to:

  • Review and practice the recommended CDC hygiene practices designed to stop the spread of the virus causing COVID-19;
  •  Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, call a health care provider for instructions if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, and stay at home if sick;
  • Understand that those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, including those over the age of 60 and those suffering from respiratory or cardiac conditions, should take extra precautions and remain home if possible;
  •  Implement social distancing measures and support businesses that are adjusting their business model to reduce the spread of the virus causing COVID-19; and
  • Assist those who work in essential jobs such as emergency personnel, medical professionals, and law enforcement.

This ordinance shall remain effective until April 8, 2020.

Violation of the City Ordinance

Any individual in violation of this emergency ordinance is subject to the general penalty in Section 10.999 which states any person who shall be convicted of any violation shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned in the county jail not longer than 30 days or shall receive both the fine and imprisonment. Each day in which a violation of this Code or other ordinance continues shall constitute a separate offense. Any individual or business entity violating the provision of this emergency ordinance, may be enjoined from continuing the violation.

Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, any violation of this emergency ordinance by any business licensed to serve alcoholic beverages (under SDCL Title 35 and City Ordinance Title XI, Chapter 111), shall following a hearing and a recommendation by the city council (as required by SDCL 35-2-11.1), may have their license suspended or revoked for such violation by the South Dakota Secretary of Revenue.

In the event that the hearing requirement (of SDCL 35-2-11.1) is waived or otherwise suspended pursuant to gubernatorial action (SDCL 34-48A-5), then such recommendation will be made without a hearing. Each day a violation of this ordinance is allowed to occur is considered a separate offense.

The city Ordinance shall apply to all locations within the city limits of Sioux Falls.


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