As of Tuesday, March 24, there were a total of 30 positive cases of COVID-19 reported in the state of South Dakota. Gregory County has yet to see any positive cases so far. South Central and Burke schools remain closed, now through May 1 at the latest recommendation from Governor Noem that was announced March 24.
Learning packets and distance learning has already been in place and will continue to be expanded through both school districts for the remainder of the closure and the Grab & Go breakfast/lunch programs will also continue on.
Gregory County Commissioners passed a COVID-19 resolution on March 24 (complete resolution found on Page 3), that impacts all businesses throughout the county, closing all athletic facilities and theaters. Restaurants and coffee houses are to only remain open for take-out, delivery, curbside pick up or drive-through service. Bars with on-sale privileges are closed to on-site sales or on-sale patrons.
McCarville Coffee Roaster, The Bonesteel Supper Club, and Constitution Bar & Grill remain open for call-ahead take-out orders only. Post 36 Fitness and The Bone bar are closed until further notice.
The First Fidelity Bank lobby is closed, visits are now by appointment only. Visit their website or Facebook page for info on how you can continue to complete all of your banking needs.
The agricultural industry is most certainly being impacted by this virus and surrounding environment. One of the biggest issues the ag community is facing may be the suppressed prices of the grains and meats. With all of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus, the futures on the board of trade have dropped a much as 20% for most grain and livestock futures.
As of right now, farmers and ranchers are not seeing any shortages locally for ag products, but that could change if the virus continues to grow. All local ag businesses have been able to keep up with the needs so far, which is great news. If this pandemic continues, some delays may begin to be seen.
Cougar Cubs Daycare has not been in operation since Governor Noem recommended schools close beginning March 16. “Although Noem has not recommended daycares across the state close, we are taking precautions to help avoid the spread of COVID-19 to our staff, parents, children, and community,” says Director Jamie Divine. “Our parents have been very supportive and understanding of the closure and we hope we can open soon, even if we might have to adhere to the 10 person per group limit recommended by the CDC for awhile,” she adds.
Even though staff disinfects and cleans daily, the temporary closure has allowed time to do a deep clean of the facility so they are ready for kids when the daycare decides it is safe to open the doors again.
Social distancing has become part of the normal routine for residents in the Bonesteel/Fairfax area over the past couple of weeks. With the “stay at home” action trending our communities are still finding ways to connect while staying apart.
The B/F Community Club is hosting a “tag-you’re-it” scavenger hunt on Facebook. One person posts a photo of one item on the list, then tags a nother community member to complete a different number on the list and so forth. Search for the “B/F Community Club Events” group on Facebook to keep up on the fun.
Cougar Cubs Daycare organized “Going on a Bear Hunt,” and are encouraging all community members to place a teddy bear (or two) in their windows for families to find while out for walks, drives, and bike rides. There are numerous homes and businesses that are participating, so take a look for those while you’re out for some fresh air, and place a bear in your window to add to the fun.
Cahoy’s General Store has been shelves as full as they can, with truck shipments still coming weekly. This week’s truck did come in on schedule. The Cahoy’s remind shoppers that due to supply issues out of their control, some items will be out of stock and ask us to keep everyone in mind when buying essential items that may be of limited quantities.
Fuel prices at Cuzn’s Corner have been lowering for the past couple of weeks, they anticipate they will remain down for awhile. The store is open regularly, with a slight change in hours of closing at 9:00 p.m. to allow for a deep clean every night.
To reiterate some of the points made in the County resolution:
1. Practice proper hygiene.
2. Practice self-isolation.
3. Practice social distancing.
4. Recommend no gathering of 10 or more people.
5. Stay at home and contact your medical provider if you believe you have symptoms.
6. Limit trips to purchase essential items.
7. Limit the time spent purchasing essential items.
8. Stagger work schedules.