September 12, 2020

TOTALLY NOT A DEATH CULT:

Dakotas lead US in virus growth as both reject mask rules (STEPHEN GROVES and DAVE KOLPACK, 9/12/20,  Associated Press)

North Dakota and South Dakota lead the country in new cases per capita over the last two weeks, ranking first and second respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.

The states have also posted some of the country's highest positivity rates for COVID-19 tests in the last week -- nearly 22 percent in North Dakota -- an indication that there are more infections than tests are catching.

Infections have been spurred by schools and universities reopening and mass gatherings like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which drew hundreds of thousands of people from across the country.

"It is not a surprise that South Dakota has one of the highest (COVID-19) reproduction rates in the country," Brookings City Council member Nick Wendell said as he commented on the many people who forgo masks in public.

The Republican governors of both states have eschewed mask requirements, tapping into a spirit of independence hewn from enduring the winters and storms of the Great Plains. [...]

Noem, who has yet to appear at a public event with a mask, carved out a reputation as a staunch conservative when she defied calls early in the pandemic for lockdown orders.

But both governors face increasing pressure to step up their approach. North Dakota's average rate of test positivity has been nearly 22% over the last seven days, according to the the COVID Tracking Project; South Dakota's has been 17%.

Posted by at September 12, 2020 1:29 PM

  

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