Photo of Sioux Falls

Shown are members of Sioux Falls City Council. In the front row from left are, Councilor Greg Neitzert, Mayor Paul TenHaken and Councilor Marshall Selberg. In the back row from left are, Councilors Rick Kiley, Janet Brekke, Curt Soehl, Pat Starr, Christine Erickson and Alex Jensen.

According to, by a vote of 6-2 on Tuesday evening, members of Sioux Falls City Council voted to mandate masks to slow the spread of COVID-19.

However, there currently is no penalty for those who refuse to comply.

Home to an estimated 183,793 residents, Sioux Falls is more than double the size of South Dakota’s second-largest municipality, Rapid City, which features 77,503 residents.

Last week, a proposed mask mandate in Sioux Falls was rejected by a 5-4 count. Mayor Paul TenHaken said the situation changed since the vote last week.

The South Dakota State Medical Association said Tuesday it would support a mask mandate. Also, one of the city’s two health care partners has said it supports a mask mandate, TenHaken said.

TenHaken said Tuesday and during the Nov. 10 council meeting that he takes direction from health care providers. He said as of last week, they were not asking for a mask mandate. TenHaken said he was more agreeable to the mandate once those health care partners spoke out about it.

Meanwhile, South Dakota’s COVID-19 surge continues. Tuesday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these numbers for South Dakota on a per 100,000-resident basis for the last week:

1.7 deaths — This is the second highest rate per 100,000 in the nation, with the national average being 0.4;

161.4 cases — CDC also shows this as the second highest rate per 100,000 in the U.S., with the national average being 47.5.

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