Noem vaunts hands-off virus approach; testing draws concern


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has doubled-down on her hands-off approach to the coronavirus pandemic by pointing to the state’s low hospitalization numbers.

She also cast doubt on key recommendations from public health officials like wearing a mask. Some health experts in the state worry that early success in managing the pandemic could be undone.

They are worried by the Republican governor’s reluctance to endorse mask-wearing, as well as the state’s relatively low amount of testing.

Still, Noem appears determined to avoid government orders to curb the spread of the disease, often emphasizing the need for business to carry on.

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