First@4: Gov. Noem’s conference; Sioux Falls mask mandate; Saliva testing available Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Review the top stories as of 4 p.m.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem held a news conference for the first time since July.

Gov. Noem says she recognizes people are tired and exhausted from the pandemic while encouraging people to take personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

When asked about responding to medical professionals who are asking for a mask mandate, the governor says she doesn’t want to approach a policy or a mandate, looking to make people feel good.

30 more South Dakotans have died due to COVID-19, according to the latest update from the state health department. That brings the death toll up to 674.

On Wednesday, 1,387 new coronavirus cases were announced bringing the state’s total case count to 68,671, up from Tuesday (67,284). Total recovered cases are now at 48,757, up from Tuesday (48,016).

A mask mandate is in effect in Sioux Falls today after the Sioux Falls City Council reconsidered last week’s ordinance.

The proposed mask mandate passed by a 6-2 count on Tuesday night. There is no penalty for failing to comply. The ordinance calls for masks to be worn when it is not possible to be 6-feet away from someone. The ordinance is set expire on January 1, 2021.

Starting this week, if someone in your house tests positive for COVID-19, you can request a saliva test. 

South Dakota Health officials say they are going to start giving household close contacts a code, which will allow you to order a test online.

Once you get the code, you can set up an appointment via Zoom. After you take the test, you mail it back and you should get the test results in 24 hours.

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