Brookings City Council to consider modified pandemic ordinance

The Brookings City Council will consider changes to their emergency pandemic ordinance which is set to expire Wednesday. That ordinance changed the operations of many businesses and forced the closure of others.

According to information attached to this evening’s agenda; city staff engaged the Chamber of Commerce, health care professionals and peer cities to craft an incremental easing of the existing ordinance.

A resolution that could be passed tonight would grant implementation of the new regulations. The memo says a second reading of the an ordinance on May 12th would solidify the law.

The proposed ordinance would allow restaurants and bars to operate with a maximum of ten customers or half of their capacity, whichever is greater. No self-serve buffets or salad bars would be allowed.

Grocery stores, Casinos, Gyms, and Recreational Facilities would have the same capacity limits.

Salons and Barber Shops would need to have six-feet spacing of customers.

Customer seating in theaters and similar businesses would need to be reduced to allow for social distancing with certain seats marked as “not available”

All businesses would be required to clean regularly and retail businesses would be required to have hand sanitizing stations. Employees at many businesses would be required to wear masks.

The City Council will consider the plan at tonight’s meeting, set for 6:00 p.m.

You can comment on the proposed ordinance on the City of Brookings website.


Below is the complete ordinance as proposed:

Ordinance 20-007
An Ordinance Amending Emergency Ordinance 20-005 (Revised) to Address a
Public Health Crisis and to Revise Certain Measures Which Have Been Deemed
Necessary to Slow the Community Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
WHEREAS, the City of Brookings has the authority pursuant to SDCL 9-29-1 and SDCL
9-32-1 to pass ordinances for the purpose of promoting the health, safety and general
welfare, of the community, and to do what may be necessary for the promotion of health
or the suppression of diseases; and
WHEREAS, an outbreak of the disease COVID-19, which is caused by the novel
coronavirus, has been confirmed in more than 100 countries, including the United
States; and
WHEREAS, the City of Brookings and many states and communities across the country
have already implemented the White House recommendations by ordering all bars,
restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where people
congregate be closed until the public health emergency is over; and
WHEREAS, the failure to successfully implement social distancing would likely result in
higher numbers of infected individuals and has the potential to overwhelm the capacity
of the City’s health care providers; and
WHEREAS, it is important that control measures continue to be taken to reduce or slow
down the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect the health and safety of the City’s
residents, especially for seniors and those with underlying health conditions that make
them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the City of Brookings has been utilizing Ordinance 20-005 to address the
COVID-19 public emergency, and
WHEREAS, based on the number of cases in Brookings County, the relative lack of
hospitalizations in the City, and the available modeling, the City Council believes some
of the social distancing restrictions can now be modified to allow businesses to resume
on-site service of customers without causing the number of COVID-19 cases in the City
to rise to the level that will overwhelm the hospital’s capacity if proper procedures are
put in place, and
WHEREAS, this Ordinance is consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-20,
and Section 3 thereof, in particular, which provide for South Dakota’s “Back to Normal
Plan”, and
WHEREAS, these revised measures and restrictions are intended to replace the
measures and restrictions set forth in Emergency Ordinance 20-005;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED, by the City Council of Brookings that:
1. Any businesses identified in Ordinance 20-005 may reopen to serve
patrons on-site pursuant to the conditions established in this resolution.
2. Businesses within the City of Brookings which are open to the public shall
observe the following guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19:
a) Establish a minimum six-foot distance between any tables, chairs, and
barstools. This provision does not need to be observed between
members of the same household.
b) All businesses shall collaborate with the City to identify their
occupancy allowance and post it in a conspicuous location outside the
c) Restaurants, bars, and casinos shall be limited to a maximum of ten
(10) customers or a capacity of one-half (½) of their maximum posted
capacity, whichever is greater. Capacity will be posted at the front of
the business.
d) All restaurants, food trucks and bars shall disinfect or dispose of all
menus before and after use by each customer. Condiment containers
shall be cleaned/disinfected between each group and shall not be
shared among multiple groups. Salad bars and self-service buffets
shall not be permitted.
e) Grocery stores, retail businesses, recreation and fitness businesses
shall be limited to a maximum of ten (10) customers or a capacity of
one-half (½) of their maximum posted capacity, whichever is greater.
Capacity will be posted at the front of the business.
f) Require social distance spacing while waiting for service or entry into a
business. Spacing may be accomplished by requiring people to remain
in their vehicles.
g) Clearly marked one-way shopping aisles in grocery and retail stores.
h) In retail and grocery businesses, install a plexiglass, or similar divider
where physically possible between the cashier and customer.
i) Require employees to wash hands at regular intervals.
j) Food service employees must wear a mask which covers the
employee’s nose and mouth.
k) In casinos, video lottery machines must be cleaned and disinfected
between each customer.
l) Employees of hair salons, nail and tanning salons, spas and barber
shops wear masks which cover their nose and mouth during customer
contact times. Customer seating must be at least six (6) feet apart.
m) In gyms and fitness facilities, any equipment and/or exercise mats
must be cleaned or disinfected between each use.
n) Customer seating in theaters and similar businesses shall be reduced
to allow for social distancing with certain seats marked as “not
available due to social distancing guidelines” to insure compliance.
o) Businesses shall post publicly a regular cleaning and disinfecting
schedule, specific to each business.
p) Hand sanitizer locations readily available for public use should be
made available at grocery stores and retail businesses.
q) Enhanced cleaning/disinfecting requirements should be used for motel
and hotel rooms.
r) Seating for large gatherings shall be reduced to comply with a six-foot
minimum distance between attendees.
s) Businesses are encouraged to conduct daily employee screenings for
t) Businesses are encouraged to post signage outside of their facility that
encourages customers to not enter if they are not feeling well or have
COVID-19 symptoms.
u) Businesses are encouraged to develop risk mitigation strategies for
restrooms or other areas where social distancing requirements are
likely to be compromised.
v) Certain businesses (e.g. gym, recreation facilities, casinos, etc.) are
encouraged to have customers wipe down their equipment/machines
before and after use. However, it will still be the responsibility of the
business to ensure proper cleaning and disinfecting is occurring.
w) Businesses, particularly salons, barber shops, and spas are
encouraged to provide service on an appointment-only basis to ensure
proper social distancing and hygiene practices are met.
3. In addition to the specific requirements listed above, businesses shall
operate in a manner consistent with CDC guidelines and any applicable
state regulations and the Governor’s Executive Orders.
4. The City encourages all members of the public within the City of Brookings
to continue to follow the CDC guidelines and recommended hygiene
practices, including, but not limited to engaging in social distancing, and
wearing masks when outside their homes wherever possible.
5. Businesses can request, in writing, administrative exceptions from the City
that allow them to modify the strict compliance with these requirements so
long as their proposal contains alternative means to implement social
distancing or hygiene requirements. The City will not approve exceptions
which completely exempt a business from implementing social distancing,
or from following the CDC guidelines.
6. Any business entity, owner, or supervising manager of any business that
is not in compliance with these regulations, or an approved alternative
plan pursuant to Section #5 above, shall be in violation of Ordinance 20-
005, as amended.
7. Pursuant to this ordinance, the City Council may by resolution modify the
mandatory closures and enact revised restrictions on public gatherings
and public movements it deems necessary to address the current public
health emergency. Any revised measures and restrictions, adopted by
resolution shall be for a specific duration and shall be periodically
reviewed to insure the continued necessity of such restrictions or closures.
8. The restrictions set forth herein do not apply to the following entities,
which have their own specific COVID-19 restrictions:
a) Health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care
facilities, and correctional facilities.
b) Crisis shelters, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, or other similar
c) Any emergency facilities necessary for the response to the current
public health emergency or any other community emergency or
d) Official meetings of the city, schools, county, or state.
e) The operations and meetings of any state or federal courts.
9. This ordinance shall remain in effect for a period of sixty (60) days, at
which time it shall be automatically repealed unless specifically readopted
for an additional period of time by the City Council. Any dates identified in
this ordinance may be adjusted at any time within the sixty (60) day period
covered by this ordinance by a resolution of the City Council.
10. Enforcement – Violation of this Resolution may result in a fine, and
multiple violations may result in further enforcement procedures, including
legal action to close the business for the safety of the public.
11. Until the 2nd Reading of Ordinance 20-007 is completed, approved and
published, Resolution 20-038, shall set forth the applicable measures
deemed necessary to slow the spread of Coronavirus in the City of
Brookings which were previously set forth in Ordinance 20-005 (Revised).
Accordingly, the measures and restrictions set forth in Ordinance 20-005
(revised) will not be enforced by the City as of May 5, 2020, the
publication date of Resolution 20-038.
BE IT FURTHER ORDAINED that pursuant to SDCL 9-19-13, this ordinance is
necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and
welfare of the City and shall become effective immediately upon passage.
Dated this 4th day of May, 2020.