Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson has closed City Hall and the Corn Palace to the public, effective noon on Tuesday, in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus.

City staff will remain available via phone to assist the public, but the closures "will help limit public interaction with city staff while still making those services available."

Here are some key details about the closures:

  • The Corn Palace box office will remain open, but the rest of the building will be closed.
  • The Sanborn Boulevard reconstruction meeting will be held as scheduled on Tuesday night, but the city is asking individuals to participate via live-stream on YouTube and Facebook. Individuals will be able to submit questions through those sites. It will also be available on the city's website to watch on-demand, starting Wednesday.
  • The Mitchell Regional Airport bid opening scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on March 18 will take place as scheduled.
  • Everson is asking that all city boards and committees re-schedule meetings between March 17 and March 27 to a later date.
  • Anyone that is looking to take out or return a petition for the June 2 election should contact the city finance office at 605-995-8420.

  • For information about Corn Palace events or cancelations, contact 605-995-8430 or visit www.cornpalace.com

  • The city of Mitchell does have the option to pay utility bills online at https://www.municipalonlinepayments.com/mitchellsd or by phone at 1-833-748-5738. Customers can also make payments by placing their payment along with your payment stub, or account information with your payment; in the drop box located in the parking lot on the east city of City Hall. If you have questions on your bill amount, or you would like confirmation that a payment was received, users can call 605-995-8415. For new utility services, call 605-995-8415 and indicate that you would like to fill out an application for utility services. The city will initiate the application over the phone, and provide the completed application for you to sign and process your receipt for the service. The same number can be used for customers terminating utility services.

  • Building permit and planning and zoning information is available by calling 605-995-8433.

  • For other city-related questions: call 605-995-8420.

  • Anyone wishing to submit a bid on a city project, can still do so by placing the bid in the city drop box located in the parking lot on the east side of City Hall.

Avera updates regarding coronavirus

People who utilize Avera facilities for their health care who feel they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who are displaying symptoms are asked to call 1-877-AT-AVERA (1-877-282-8372), or their local clinic number.

Symptoms include fever over 100 degrees, cough and shortness of breath. Not everyone who contracts this virus will become seriously ill, in fact 80% of people can be treated at home.

“It’s important to call 1-877-AT-AVERA, or the phone number of your local clinic, first rather than going directly to your clinic in order to protect other patients and staff,” said Avera Queen of Peace Hospital Regional President and CEO Tom Clark. “Avera has set up processes for testing that will limit exposure to staff and other patients. If a provider determines that someone needs testing, we will refer patients to the correct site for testing.”

Employers and businesses are asked to not require a provider’s note for employees who are sick with respiratory illness to validate their illness or return to work. This is because health care facilities are extraordinarily busy during this time. Per this guideline from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Avera is not providing sick notes.

Avera is not currently allowing visitors to long-term care centers (nursing homes) as individuals in long-term care are at high risk of COVID-19. Consult with your local facility for patients who are in hospice or end-of-life care. Avera hospitals, including Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, will allow only one visitor per patient. Also at Avera clinics, visitors are limited to one critical visitor for each patient. Additional visitors will be asked to return to their vehicle and not wait in the waiting room. Anyone with obvious symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing, will not be allowed to visit.

“This policy is for the protection of everyone,” Clark said. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it.

Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. If you are sick, limit close contact with others as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Practice social distancing by avoiding crowds and limiting physical contact, i.e., shaking hands or hugging.

“This is a challenging time for our community, our state, our nation and even our world. Please stay informed about COVID-19 and practice these guidelines. As your local health care provider, we at Avera will continue to work hard to prevent the spread of this virus and deliver high quality care for those who become ill or need health services for other conditions. We want to thank our staff and our community members for your support,” said Clark.