The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak – and winter in general – does not necessarily spare the city of Yankton.
In her report at Monday’s city of Yankton commission meeting, City Manager Amy Leon said the city was affected by the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases, as well as other realities of the season.
“We have a lot of people out there,” she said. “We have people who are experiencing COVID-19. We have people with seasonal illnesses. We have people who are victims of work accidents. We have people who experience planned absences – vacation, maternity leave, paternity leave. “
She said that means some secondary services might take a bit longer.
“We are doing what we can,” she said. “We appreciate the community’s patience with us in focusing on priority services, infrastructure and public safety. The other things go on the list. They will grab attention, but not immediately.
After the meeting, Leon told Press & Dakotan that she was unsure of the exact number of employees absent or working on reduced duties at the time.
However, she said the current push fueled by the omicron variant has led the city to encourage extra precautions among staff.
“The whole time we kept our hygiene protocols,” she said, “We have also, here over the last few weeks, been asking people, ‘If you don’t need to travel for some meeting or whatever, if it’s not required for certification, skip that right away. ‘ We have reduced the number of meetings outside our organization that are not urgent or imperative. We also do a lot of our internal meetings on Zoom, just trying to avoid clusters. “
Leon said mask requirements had not been reintroduced, but a number of employees opted to wear them anyway.
The room at Monday night’s committee meeting largely reflected the current course of the pandemic. A number of chairs had been removed from availability while others available to members of the public were spaced apart. While the entirety of the city commission was on hand, they were equally distributed as they had been after they returned to the commission chambers in early 2021. A number of officials and members of the media that would typically be present have physically chosen to attend electronically via Go to Meeting.
Attendance at Monday’s meeting was also very sparse, reflecting a light agenda.
The commission unanimously approved a consent program that set a hearing date for the transfer of ownership of a malt beverage retail license, a hearing for the sale of alcoholic beverages, and set a working session until January 24, 2022.
In its only old case, the commission unanimously approved a one-day special event retail liquor license at the NFAA.
No “new” or “other” business was scheduled for Monday night’s meeting, and the committee adjourned to an executive session after less than 10 minutes.
In other Monday business, counsel:
• Announcement of a possible quorum of commissioners at Yankton Middle School on Saturday January 15, for a Yankton Youth Soccer Association announcement. No official business will be conducted;
• Announcement of a possible quorum at an out and back party at Fire Station # 2 on Friday January 14, celebrating the retirement of Yankton Fire Chief Tom Kurtenbach. No official business will be conducted.
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