City Council approves pair of COVID-19 ordinances

ABERDEEN, S.D. ( – There are new parameters in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Aberdeen.

The city council approved Wednesday second reading of an emergency ordinance that restricts many public gatherings of 10 or more people. It went into effect for print at 12:01 a.m.

During the special meeting, the council also approved the first reading of another emergency ordinance that sets stricter regulations. Final approval could come at a 5:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting.

A violation of either ordinance would be a misdemeanor punishable by as much as 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The original ordinance follows CDC recommendations and guidelines outlined by Gov. Kristi Noem in an executive order. City Attorney Ron Wager said it affects enclosed retail businesses like bars, restaurants, breweries and entertainment venues. They cannot allow public gatherings of 10 or more people if there isn’t room for at least 6 feet of separation between people who aren’t related.

Take-out, delivery, curbside and off-site delivery services are allowed. The ordinance doesn’t apply to businesses like grocery stores and convenience stores that offer food for sale and off-site consumption.

The second ordinance allows for take-out, delivery, curbside and off-site delivery services, but otherwise closes restaurants, bars, breweries and entertainment venues. It also closes indoor recreation facilities, tattoo parlors, hair salons, barber shops, spas and massage studios.

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