Earlier this week Governor Kristi Noem said she is NOT recommending that school districts require masks for students.

Noem says young students will have a hard time keeping masks on, they will be touching masks and both of those can increase the possibility of transmitting coronavirus. However, the South Dakota State Medical Association disagrees.

The medical association says that schools should follow CDC guidelines for wearing face coverings, which includes both teachers and students. One of the reports Noem based her comments on was out of Canada and came out a month before the CDC’s recommendation. Wednesday, The Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, or Sickkids, updated the report cited by Noem to call for masks at least for high school students.

“Previously that particular guideline from Toronto had said that maybe masks aren’t necessary in school. The state medical association disagrees with that and we think there are other, much more scientific studies–that was just a recommendation–there are more scientific studies that support the use of wearing masks,’ Dr. Benjamin Aaker, President of the South Dakota State Medical Association, said.

Dr. Aaker says masks are recommended for children over the age of two. The SDSMA has COVID-19 information on its website, including advice for reopening schools.