South Dakota medical groups promote masks, countering Noem

South Dakota News

Dr. Benjamin Aaker, president of the South Dakota State Medical Association, announces a campaign to promote voluntary mask-wearing launched in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. The campaign’s promotion of public mask wearing counters Gov. Kristi Noem’s promotion of doctors who doubt the efficacy of masks in preventing coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota’s largest medical organizations on Tuesday launched a joint effort to promote mask-wearing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as the state suffers through one of the nation’s worst outbreaks.

The move counters Gov. Kristi Noem, who has repeatedly cast doubt on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to wear face coverings in public.

The Department of Health reports the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 broke records for the third straight day.

Groups representing doctors, nurses, hospitals, school administrators and businesses promoted mask-wearing, warning that the state’s hospitals could face a tipping point in their ability to handle virus cases.

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