Mayor Raffety Asks Businesses to Follow Health Recommendations

UPDATED March 24. Milbank City Council Orders Mandatory Closure of Public Access to Bars and Restaurants

The Milbank City Council voted unanimously to impose the mandatory closure of bars and restaurants inside the city limits during an emergency meeting of the board on Tuesday, March 24. The action is effective at 11:59 p.m. today, March 24, and remains in effect until April 15, 2020.
The bars and restaurants will still be allowed to serve food to their customers via drive-through, curbside pickup or delivery options. The action also requires gyms, public pools, theatres, bowling alleys, casinos and other businesses where numerous people may be in close contact are also required to close and cease operation. 
For a complete listing of which types of businesses are included and which types are excluded, read way to the bottom of the Resolution.

Prior to the meeting, city officials posted the following notice on social media and also sent it to the Grant County Review. 
The City Council will meet this evening via conference call at 5:30pm to consider a resolution to close all of the restaurants and bars within the City limits. The Mayor and Council feel this action is needed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We are all very aware of the hardship that this will place on all of your individual businesses, and encourage all of you to find alternative ways to service customers, whether it be a drive-thru, curbside pickup, or delivery.
The safety and well-being of the citizens of Milbank is our utmost priority, and while this action is difficult, we are confident it is best for the current situation.
Thank you for your compliance.
Pat Raffety

The Resolution as approved is listed here: 
Resolution 3-24-20

An Emergency Resolution to Address a Public Health Crisis by Implementing
Certain Measures Which Have Been Deemed Necessary to Slow the Community Spread of
Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Whereas, the City of Milbank has the authority pursuant to SDCL 9-29-1 and SDCL 9-32-1 to
pass ordinances or resolutions for the purpose of promoting the health, safety, morals, 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, COVID-19 is a severe respiratory disease transmitted by person-to-person contact, or
by contact with surfaces contaminated by the virus. In some cases, especially among older
adults and persons with serious underlying health conditions, COVID-19 can result in serious
illness requiring hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit, and death; and
Whereas, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a public health emergency; and

Whereas, on March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in
response to the global pandemic of COVID-19; and

Whereas, on the same day, Governor Kristi Noem, issued Executive Order 2020-04 which
declared a state of emergency to exist in the State of South Dakota in response to the spread of
COVID-19; and

Whereas, cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in South Dakota; and

Whereas, the CDC and health experts have recommended social distancing to slow the spread
of COVID-19; and

Whereas, social distancing is a method of slowing down or stopping the spread of a contagious
disease by reducing the probability of contact between infected persons and those not infected
in order to minimize disease transmission; and

Whereas, in response to the need to implement social distancing, all schools in the State of
South Dakota have been closed for at least two weeks; and

Whereas, on March 16, 2020, the White House issued guidance recommending that social
gatherings of more than ten (10) people be avoided, and that people avoid eating or drinking at
bars, restaurants and food courts; and

Whereas, the guidance issued by the White House further recommended that in states with
evidence of community transmission, bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor
and outdoor venues where people congregate should be closed; and

Whereas, 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 will 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 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 COVID19; and

Now, Therefore, Be It Ordained, by the City Council of Milbank that:

1. Effective at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020, all restaurants, food courts, coffee
houses, bars, breweries, clubs, cafes and other similar places of public accommodation
offering food and beverages for on-site consumption, including any alcohol licensees
with on-sale privileges, are closed to on-site/on-sale patrons. These businesses may
continue to operate in order to provide take-out, delivery, curbside service, and drive-thru service. Any business continuing to operate in order to provide off-site service
should implement procedures to ensure social distancing and operate in compliance
with federal and state health guidance in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This
closure will remain in effect through Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

2. Effective at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020, all recreational facilities, public pools,
health clubs, athletic facilities and theaters, including movie theaters and music or
entertainment venues are directed to close and cease operations during this
emergency. This closure will remain in effect through Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

3. Effective at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020, all cigar bars, vaping lounges or other
similar businesses that allow for on-site consumption are directed to cease allowing on-
site consumption, but may continue to offer products for sale to consume off-site under
the same conditions as bars and restaurants outlined in paragraph #1. This closure will
remain in effect through Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

4. Effective at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020, all arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys,
indoor golf ranges, casinos, indoor climbing facilities, skating rinks, and other similar
recreational or entertainment facilities are directed to close and cease operations
during this emergency. This closure will remain in effect through Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

5. The prohibitions and closures in this order do not apply to the following businesses:
a. Places of public accommodation that offer food and beverages for off-site
consumption, including grocery stores, markets, retail stores that offer food,
convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries, other than any
portion of such business which offer on-site consumption which would be subject to
the requirements of paragraph #1.

b. Hardware and supply stores.

c. Room service in hotels.

d. Health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, day care
facilities, and correctional facilities.

e. Crisis shelters, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, or other similar institutions.

f. Any emergency facilities necessary for the response to the current public health
emergency or any other community emergency or disaster.

g. Official meetings of the city, schools, county, or state.

h. The operations and meetings of any state or federal courts.

i. Manufacturing businesses.

6. This resolution 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 the resolution for closures to automatically
end may be adjusted at any time within the sixty (60) day period covered by this
resolution by a resolution of the City Council.

7. Any violation of this resolution is subject to the general penalty provision in the Revised Milbank Municipal Code, Chapter 1.16, Section 1.16.010. Each day a violation of this resolution is allowed to occur is considered a separate offense.

Be It Further Ordained, that, pursuant to SDCL 9-19-13, this resolution is necessary for the
immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and welfare of the City and shall
become effective immediately upon passage.




(below is the story that was published in the print edition)

Mayor Raffety Asks Businesses to Follow Health Recommendations


    After calling an emergency teleconference meeting of the Milbank City Council on Monday, March 23, Mayor Pat Raffety publicly urged the business owners and managers in Milbank to restrict outside access to their business places. 
    “I would request that restaurants and bars if you have not already done so, restrict the use inside your establishments. Consider carry-out, curbside delivery or home delivery,” Raffety said in his statement. “The council and I are very concerned about the health and well-being of our community and its citizens.  We also understand how the hardships of these actions will affect your business long-term; however, we must be diligent in our protection of the entire community.”
    Raffety went on to request that every business owner, whether a food-based business or not, carefully evaluate the validity of keeping their business open or partially open. 
    During the council meeting, Raffety expressed to all who were logged on, that as a mayor, the law grants him the authority to issue proclamations during times of emergency situations without the council’s participation in the decision. But Raffety said that he’d wanted the meeting to gain the input from the council members, Kevin Schuelke, Grant County emergency management director, and Boyd VanVooren, Milbank Police chief. Each of them expressed their concerns and viewpoints, agreeing that a balance must be struck between allowing businesses to survive and serve their customers and maintaining the health of the community. 
    With positive COVID-19 cases now reported in communities as close as Big Stone County in Minnesota and Codington County in South Dakota, Raffety said, “We can wait for a case here, or we can be proactive. We will probably see a case here; it’s just a matter of when.” 
    Several of the council members expressed a sense that the public isn’t taking the recommendations to limit the spread of the virus seriously. “We need to make the public aware of the reality of the situation,” councilman Evan Grong said. “We don’t want to shut down businesses, but we also don’t want to see people 10 or 20 deep and way too close together at these places. If you don’t need to be out, then don’t.” 
     VanVooren reported that officers are seeing far less traffic than usual and that over the weekend, the number of cars at the bars was low. “You have to make the best decisions you can to maintain businesses and still protect the public health,” he advised.
    On Tuesday morning, Schuelke told the Review, “How Grant County turns out on COVID-19 depends on how seriously the public takes this stance and adheres to recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control, South Dakota Department of Health and World Health Organization, President Trump and Governor Noem.” 
    Schuelke went on to say that the recommendations are in place to curb the spread of the virus. “It is your responsibility to protect your neighbors and the vulnerable.” Slowing the spread will help the healthcare community be able to treat patients by decreasing the number of people needing care at the same time.
    “Do the math,” Schuelke said. “We have roughly 7,000 residents in Grant County. With the statistics provided us as an example, they are saying 30 percent may be affected, so that’s 2,100 people. Eighty percent of those infected will not need hospitalization, leaving 420 to seek hospital treatment. A one percent fatality rate means that potentially 21 (could die) unless we practice good hygiene and social distancing and limiting contact. If nothing happens, then it worked, and we won. But it will take everyone taking the necessary precautions. Grant County, we can do this!”
    The remainder of the mayor’s proclamation requests a continuance of social distancing. “It is extremely imperative that we practice social distancing to slow down the spread, so we do not overwhelm our health care system,” Raffety said. 
    The public is asked to restrict gatherings of 10 or more people without exception. Officials urge the continuation of personal hygiene. “And, if you are sick, please call your health care professional. You must call ahead so the medical staff can be prepared for your arrival; we must be vigilant about protecting their health as much as our own,” Raffety said. 
~Holli Seehafer


Grant County Review

Grant County Review
P.O. Box 390
Milbank, SD 57252
(605) 432-4516

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