Meeting Wednesday for proposed COVID rules extension, amendments


BROOKINGS – Brookings city councilors will hold a special meeting starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, to consider a proposed ordinance and emergency resolution to extend and amend COVID-19-related regulations in the community.

The meeting will be held at the Brookings City & County Government Center, in the third-floor council chambers.

Ordinance 20-017, up for a second reading, would amend Ordinance 20-010 to extend provisions regarding a public health crisis and to revise certain measures which have been deemed necessary to slow the community spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the City of Brookings. 

Third reading and possible action to extend the ordinance for 60 days, with possible amendments, are planned for Sept. 8, which is when the current ordinance expires.

If passed, Resolution 20-072 would allow amendments to Ordinance 20-010 to take effect immediately, until they have been adopted by the council.

Possible amendments include:

• Placing restrictions on all residential gatherings larger than 10 people;

• Prohibiting the sale, serving and consumption of alcohol at businesses from 10 p.m.-7 a.m.;

• Requiring masks for all events that require a city permit where 6-foot social distancing cannot be achieved; and

• Requiring masks in public places where 6-foot social distancing cannot be achieved. Proposed exceptions are those under the age of 5 and those with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering.

“Brookings COVID numbers have increased dramatically over the past week. The guiding metrics have all been triggered with the exception of hospitalization. The current ordinance (Phase 3) regulates bars, restaurants, salons and retail. Additional regulations are needed to mitigate the increase in cases. Staff recommends extending the existing ordinance and necessary amendments including regulating residential gatherings to 10 or less and ceasing the sale of alcohol past 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday,” says a memo from City Manager Paul Briseno, which is attached to the agenda on the city website.

“As of Monday, the seven-day positive rate is 34%. The desired rate is 5%. … This past week there have been substantial increases (in cases),” Briseno’s memo says.

“At the last City Council meeting, thresholds and metrics were provided as guidance for Council and the public of existing conditions. This information is provided by local professionals and weighs metrics such as test positive rates, health care capacity, testing scope and capacity. As of the last report, the only metric met was the capacity of hospitalization available.”

“City Council is provided with healthcare insight of local conditions. Based on this information and business/residential concerns, Council is asked to approve the extension and amendments,” according to Briseno’s memo. 

Councilors have the options of approving the ordinance and resolution as presented, amending them, denying them or doing nothing.

Contact Jill Fier at [email protected]

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