On Tuesday evening, the Sioux Falls City Council officially voted 6-2 in favor to extend the city's mask mandate to March 13th, 2021.  The original sunset date on the ordinance was January 1st, 2021.  Council members who voted for the mask mandate extension include Councilors Curt Soehl, Rick Kiley, Janet Brekke, Alex Jensen, Marshall Selberg, and Pat Starr.  Those against were Councilors Christine Erickson and Greg Neitzert.

During Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken's weekly COVID-19 briefing on Monday,  December 7th, he shared with the public that he "expects" the council to pass the first and second readings of the mask mandate extension.  This proposal to extend the mask ordinance is due to the current vaccine availability projections.

As a reminder, there will be no penalties for violating this mask mandate.

Details of the current mask ordinance include face masks or coverings to be worn in indoor public places where 6-feet of social distancing could not be achieved or maintained.  This measure also excludes individuals under the age of five, restaurant and bar patrons, and those consuming food and beverages.  Residents who are also currently receiving medical or dental care, which prevents them from wearing face masks are not expected to do so under this ordinance.  This includes anyone with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability.

Practicing social distancing is not necessary among family and friends or while attending sporting activities, therefore masks are also not required. Public Safety Workers who are actively on duty also did not have to wear a mask.

The South Dakota Department of Health is reporting that as of Tuesday, December 15th, there are a total of 302 new confirmed COVID-19 cases.  435 are currently hospitalized.  11,519 active cases are in the state as well as 1,261 deaths.  Overall, South Dakota has a total of 84,290 confirmed cases.  Minnehaha County alone has 23,269 confirmed cases.  Lincoln County has 10,093 confirmed cases.

More details on the mask mandate extension can be found at Dakota News Now.

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