South Dakota’s Positive Virus Rate Hits 46%—but Kristi Noem Aide Says ‘We Feel Pretty Good’

A staggering 46 percent of coronavirus tests are coming back positive in South Dakota at the moment—but Gov. Kristi Noem has “no opinion” on masks and her team thinks everything is going just fine, The Wall Street Journal reports. The positivity rate is eight times more than the World Health Organization’s recommended 5 percent threshold at which businesses can safely reopen. But Noem’s senior advisor Maggie Seidel said, “We feel pretty good about where we’re at. The governor is not going to change any of her approach—why should she?” Noem has been ambivalent about face masks, writing in an opinion piece last week that “those who don’t want to wear a mask shouldn’t be shamed into wearing one.”

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said that the lack of mask wearing in public could be a reason why the virus is spreading so severely in the state.

Read it at The Wall Street Journal

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