Democrats will push for statewide mask mandate

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers in South Dakota will push for a statewide mask mandate, like the one imposed by some cities and most of the state’s reservations to rein in the coronavirus outbreak. Sen. Reynold Nesiba, of Sioux Falls, plans to introduce legislation on the mandate Thursday.

South Dakota Democratic Vice Chairwoman Nikki Gronli says the bill will mirror Sioux Falls’ ordinance. Gronli says since Sioux Falls passed the mandate in November, the city has seen a sharp decline in positive cases and hospitalizations. Gov. Kristi Noem has defended her hands-off approach to managing the pandemic and doesn’t wear a mask.