Allender says Civic Center construction will continue amid COVID-19

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - On Monday in a briefing, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender said positive test results for COVID-19 are up, but he says that was to be expected and it means the virus is behaving as predicted.

Mayor Steve Allender in a Monday briefing on COVID-19.

Allender says the city is preparing for changes within the workforce over the next few weeks.

He says some will remain on the job in a "normal fashion," like those who work in public safety, water, sewer, and garbage.

Some will have modified duties, like compliance. Some will work from home. Others will simply not be working.

The mayor stressed the importance of social distancing and following the city closure ordinance in order to flatten the curve.

"This virus is clearly not containable," said Allender. "We cannot stop it's path, so the goal here, the number one goal is to protect our community's health, and by doing that, we need to protect our health care system capacity."

The mayor also said major construction projects, namely the Civic Center, will not be delayed by the city, though he did not rule out the possibility that delays could occur if supply lines are disrupted or if contractors stop their workers.

"The City will not delay the arena project or any other construction project in Rapid City," said Allender. "That's got to be a self-governed issue that's dealt with by the contractors and their suppliers."

Allender reminds everyone to wash your hands often, cough or sneeze into your elbow, don't touch your face, maintain social distance, and stay home if you can.