MOUNT RUSHMORE, S.D. (KELO) — The 7,500 visitors expected at Mount Rushmore on Friday for presidential visit and fireworks won’t need to worry about social distancing at the event.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has said since first announcing the state’s plans earlier in June that social distancing won’t be required. Instead, she said if people are uncomfortable with the idea of being in the large crowd, they shouldn’t attend the July 3 event.
The practice of giving space to others is described as a best practice as the U.S. deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been something the South Dakota Department of Health has recommended to slow the spread of coronavirus as recently as Monday.
In an appearance on Fox News on Monday, Noem repeated that social distancing won’t be part of the celebration on Friday. She says the state plans to give out face masks, but attendees aren’t required to wear them.
A Zone 1 ticket includes a note that attendees are subject to a possible health screening because of the physical proximity of groups, which depends on health directives at the time of the event.
Pennington County, which is where Mount Rushmore is located in South Dakota, has seen an increase of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. As of Tuesday, there are 518 total cases in that county.