Coronavirus Cases in the Dakotas Growing Fastest in the Country After Eschewing Precautions
WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?
Coronavirus infections are growing faster in North and South Dakota after the states seemed to avoid the worst of the pandemic without strict lockdown orders or mandates that residents wear masks. According to the Associated Press, South Dakota is also recording an abnormally high positivity rate in its testing program—17 percent—a sign there are more cases than are being recorded. South Dakota’s Republican governor Kristi Noem has railed against coronavirus precautions, refusing to institute shelter-in-place orders or require face masks. North Dakota’s Republican governor Doug Burgum has also declined to issue a mask mandate. Noem said she was “proud” that her state hosted a gargantuan motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota in early August that has been linked to thousands of new positive cases. Nick Wendell, a Brookings, South Dakota city councilman, said this week, “It is not a surprise that South Dakota has one of the highest (COVID-19) reproduction rates in the country.”