Nicole Knoshel, 22, was not wearing a mask when CBS News met her as she was about to walk into a bar.
“Honestly, I am a registered nurse in a COVID unit,” she said. “I also care about others and their health. ”
Governor Kristi Noem is against mask warrants. But the state is divided over how to respond to the pandemic.
The head of the Dakota’s largest healthcare system disagrees with his medical director over whether there is a crisis.
“It’s hard for me to say we’re in a crisis,” said Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft told CBS News.
When the Medical Director was asked if she would characterize the situation in the Dakota as a crisis, the answer was clear: “I would”.
One hour north of Sioux Falls, the town of Brookings reports the lowest infection rate in the state. Masks have been compulsory since the beginning of September.
“There are a lot of people in South Dakota, thousands of people in South Dakota, who understand the reality of what we are facing,” said a Brookings resident.
Back in Sioux Falls, the mayor took the heat for his response to questions about why so many people don’t want to wear masks. “It’s cowboy country, man,” TenHaken said. “And you try to tell someone to do something and they want to do the opposite.
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