Spearfish issues ordinance closing businesses of 'public accommodation'


SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - At a special session on Tuesday, March 31 via teleconference, the Spearfish City Council unanimously approved the second reading of an emergency ordinance implementing measures deemed necessary to slow the community spread of COVID-19. The ordinance states that it is “necessary to suppress disease and for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety and welfare of the city…”

The measures will be in effect from Wednesday, April 1 at 7 p.m. through Wednesday, April 15. This will close businesses of “public accommodation offering food and beverages for on-site consumption,” such as restaurants, bars, coffee houses, clubs, etc., to on-site/on-sale patrons. During this time, the businesses can continue to provide takeout, delivery, curbside, and drive-thru services, using social distancing practices and following all guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The ordinance will also close all recreation facilities, public pools, health clubs, athletic facilities, gyms, fitness centers, theaters, entertainment venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, casinos, and other recreational/entertainment facilities during the same timeframe, starting on Wednesday, April 1 at 7 p.m. through Wednesday, April 15.

The ordinance does NOT apply to:
- Places of public accommodation that offer food and beverages for off-site consumption, including grocery stores, markets, retail stores that offer food/beverages, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries (other than any portion of aforementioned businesses that offer on-site consumption, in which case, would be closed to on-site consumption)
- Retail stores
- Room service in hotels
- Health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and correctional facilities - Crisis shelters, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, or other similar institutions
- Any emergency facilities necessary for the response to the current public health emergency or any other community emergency or disaster
- Official meetings of the city, schools, county, or state
- The operations and meetings of any state or federal courts
- Any business that does not fall within the descriptions listed in the ordinance that are required to close.

Many local businesses voluntarily limited access, reduced hours, or closed prior to the ordinance. All businesses that remain open are encouraged to follow all Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the city of Spearfish asks residents to practice all recommended CDC guidelines everywhere, including their necessary trips to businesses, outside in public open spaces, at home, etc. These recommendations include:

- Avoid groups of 10 or more people
- Practice social distancing, keeping at least 6 feet away from others
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes

The city of Spearfish launched a webpage, to provide resources to citizens, and on that site are links to those seeking reemployment assistance, small business disaster loans, tax relief, etc. People in need of assistance or looking to assist those in need may also fill out forms to get connected to various resources, organizations, agencies, etc.