For President Trump’s Independence Day fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore, attendees will not be required to practise social distancing or wear masks, the state’s governor said.
In an interview with Fox News, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was asked about health concerns being cited as a reason to cancel Fourth of July celebrations.
“In South Dakota we’ve told people to focus on personal responsibility, every one of them has the opportunity to make a decision that they’re comfortable with”, Governor Noem replied.
“We will have a large event on 3 July. We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we won’t be social distancing.”
South Dakota has recorded more than 6,700 confirmed coronavirus cases and 91 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
On Monday, South Dakota’s department of health reported 35 new Covid-19 cases, The Argus Leader reported.
“We’re asking them to come — be ready to celebrate, to enjoy the freedoms and the liberties that we have in this country,” Gov. Noem added.
Around 7,500 people are expected to attend the fireworks event on 3 July. Attendance to the evening was limited through an online lottery system.
The Trump administration has come under fire for its seemingly relaxed attitude to implementing coronavirus protection measures to limit the spread of infection at large events.
Face masks and social distancing were not enforced at Mr Trump’s recent campaign event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his first rally for supporters since March.
Experts have said that the US is struggling to keep the pandemic under control. At least 27 states saw a daily increase in the number of coronavirus cases last week.
The country saw a record 40,401 new cases in one day last week, breaking the previous record, from April, by more than 3,000.
Governors in many states have been forced to pause reopening and in some cases, order the re-closing of certain businesses due to a spike in cases.
The US has more than 2.6 million coronavirus cases, and more than 120,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday.
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