Potential Stay-at-Home Ordinance FAQ

What is a Stay-at-Home Ordinance?

A stay-at-home ordinance defines a set of requirements/guidelines which have been put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by limiting non-essential activities and contact with individuals outside of a person’s household.

What a Stay-at-Home Ordinance is not.

Although a stay-at-home ordinance does place restrictions on non-essential activities and creates an environment that maintains social distancing (people should stay in their homes unless conducting activities deemed essential), a stay-at-home ordinance does not mean that individuals will be forced to stay inside their homes.

Why would Brookings enact a Stay-at-Home Ordinance?

The City of Brookings may enact a stay at home ordinance as a public safety measure to slow the spread of COVID-19. Currently, the Brookings City Council is considering the first reading of an ordinance, meaning that no stay-at-home ordinance is enacted. The first reading simply opens the process to discuss a possible ordinance, take input from citizens, and draft and make an ordinance ready in the case that it would need to be enacted after a second future reading. The future second reading would occur based on the Council’s determination (See below).

The Purpose of City Council proceeding with a Stay-at-Home Ordinance.

Law requires that ordinances have a first and second reading at public City Council meetings. At least five (5) business days must pass between each reading and the ordinance does not become law until adoption at the second reading. The City is moving forward with a first reading of the stay-at-home ordinance to:

  • Encourage public input, participation, and engagement
  • Vet any potential revisions that are needed for the ordinance
  • Be able to act quickly and effectively if the COVID-19 data for the City of Brookings takes a turn for the worse

At this time, adopting the stay-at-home ordinance is not imminent. However, City Leadership wants to take the necessary steps now to provide for the health and safety of all Brookings residents and visitors with a plan in place.

What can I do?

You may leave your home to conduct essential activities (social distancing of at least 6 feet must be practiced at all times). Some examples of essential activities are:

  • Traveling to your place of essential employment for work.
  • Going to the grocery store or other to places to obtain necessities like cleaning products, food and beverages, medicine, pet care, cash from the bank, or fuel.
  • Going outside to participate in outdoor activities, get fresh air, or exercise (as long as social distancing of 6 feet from others is practiced.)

What can’t I do? (Activities deemed non-essential).

You may not conduct non-essential activities, especially those that do not promote social distancing. Some examples of activities that are prohibited include:

  • Hosting, congregating, or attending gatherings where people who do not live together are assembling outside a single household or living unit.
  • Going shopping for non-essential items, for example, browsing within a store for no purpose.
  • Playing on park equipment that has been closed.

How is it different than the current ordinance?

The current City of Brookings Emergency Ordinance 20-005 outlines a set of prohibited activities and guidelines for individuals, businesses, organizations and public places within the Brookings community. It refers to what community members and organizations can’t do.

The proposed stay-at-home ordinance defines what the community can do. It outlines which activities, services, and businesses are deemed essential and provides guidelines for what is allowed. In practice, the stay at home ordinance is more restrictive and limits activity outside of the home to what is absolutely necessary.

What will change?

  • Essential businesses and services which are defined by the ordinance will continue to operate; all other businesses and services that are not defined as essential within the ordinance will close.
  • Individuals must stay at home unless they are acquiring essential needs like food, medicine, or solo exercise.

What won’t change?

  • Eating establishments will still be able to offer take-out and drive-through services.
  • Essential services like hospitals, care facilities, utility services, etc. will remain operational.
  • People will not be in lockdown. Individuals will still be able to go out to access essential necessities and services. They will be able to go where they need to in order to take care of themselves, and to take care of others.

Where can I find out more?

More information can be found in the “Agendas and Minutes” section of the City’s website www.cityofbrookings.org.

For more information related to COVID-19 and the City’s COVID-19 response visit: https://www.cityofbrookings.org/646/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Info

Questions or concerns? Please submit a request through the Engage Brookings mobile app or on the City website by clicking on the “Report a Concern” button.