Thursday, February 2, 2023

Play

Palestinian advocates praise a new fact sheet on discrimination, Pennsylvania considers extending deadlines for abuse claims, and North Dakota's corporate farming debate affects landowners and tribes.

Play

Vice President Kamala Harris urges Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House begins the process to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary, and the Federal Reserve nudges interest rates up.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Local Mask Mandates Take Shape in SD

Play

Friday, October 30, 2020   

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Calls have amplified for South Dakota to issue a statewide mask rule in light of surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. As that debate plays out, some local governments have decided on mandates of their own - or are considering them.

Throughout the pandemic, the City of Brookings has taken steps to slow the novel coronavirus spread, including business restrictions. And this week, it extended a requirement of face coverings for businesses and indoor public spaces.

While health experts say having a statewide mandate would send a consistent message, Brookings City Council member Nick Wendell said he appreciates having local control.

"We had to put measures in place we knew the majority of our community in Brookings supported," said Wendell. "That may not look the same in every corner of the state."

Wendell said they're not just gauging community support. They're hearing from health agencies and providers.

The Brookings Health System warns that local COVID-19 hospitalizations could soon double. Rapid City has also adopted a mask rule for city buildings, and a proposal is in the works in Sioux Falls.

Gov. Kristi Noem has resisted a statewide mandate, saying the decision to wear a mask should be up to individuals.

Other political leaders who resist mask mandates question their effectiveness as novel coronavirus cases rise across much of the country.

Wendell said these steps aren't perfect, but he draws a parallel between when their mask rule was first adopted in September, and a temporary slowdown in COVID activity.

"Across cities and states throughout the country that, where there was a higher percentage of folks wearing masks and practicing social distancing, those were the places they were able to keep the spread of the virus under control," said Wendell.

Health groups such as the Mayo Clinic say wearing masks has proven to be effective. Public health leaders say one of the biggest problems right now is people letting their guard down in smaller, private gatherings.

Earlier this week, groups including the State Medical Association and some health-care providers launched an awareness campaign, encouraging South Dakotans to wear masks.


get more stories like this via email

Protestors at the University of California-Berkeley demonstrate in support of student groups that passed a bylaw pledging not to invite pro-Zionist speakers. (Palestine Legal)

Social Issues

Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …


Social Issues

Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …

Environment

New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …


While mortality rates for pregnant women have decreased globally, they continue to rise in the United States, with Black women three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. (Inez/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …

Environment

North Dakota's plan to boost animal agriculture has reignited a thorny issue: loosening restrictions on corporate ownership of farms. The state said …

The Bonneville Power Administration has about 15,000 miles of transmission lines in the Northwest. (Cam/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …

Social Issues

A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …

Social Issues

Advocates and stakeholders have solutions for the Virginia Employment Commission to get through its backlog of unemployment appeal cases. According …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021