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SOUTH Dakota's Republican governor said people don't have to wear masks or socially distance during Donald Trump's Mount Rushmore visit on July 3.

Kristi Noem said that there was no need to implement coronavirus mitigation measures as the deadly disease continues to spread throughout multiple states – including her own.

"We will have a large event at July 3rd," South Dakota's governor said during a Fox News interview.

"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 will not be social distancing."

"Every one of them has the opportunity to make a decision that they're comfortable with."

Her comments come as South Dakota officials insisted residents should "focus on personal responsibility" when it comes to stopping the spread.

The President will give a celebratory address at the Independence Day celebration in Mount Rushmore to mark the Fourth of July weekend.

He will travel to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial sculpture in Keystone that Friday.

Some precautions will be put in place: the event will be "limited" to 7,500 people, as per South Dakota's state travel site as cases continue to rise.

"We ask the public to be our partner in adopting social distancing practices when visiting parks," the National Park Service said.

South Dakota, a state of some 884,659 people, is one of the least impacted, with 807 active cases as of June 30.

It has experienced 6,716 infections out of 2.6 million positive cases across the United States and less than 100 people have died from the deadly bug in The Mount Rushmore State.

Noem's lack of compliance with CDC guidelines comes as Florida doctors in Jacksonville, Florida urged GOP politicians to cancel the Republican National Committee Convention there in August.

Jacksonville City imposed a mask mandate on Monday evening requiring all people to wear indoors or where social distancing isn't feasible.

By Sunday, there were nearly 150,000 confirmed cases in Florida and over 3,400 deaths.

By June 26, Florida's cases drastically had surged to nearly 4,000 new cases since the previous day.

The Republican convention will be held in the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, which can hold some 15,000 attendees.

As of June 30, it doesn't seem as though this seating will be limited and medics have pleaded with officials to reconsider hosting it.

"Unfortunately, for some, a face mask has become a political statement," doctor's claimed in their written appeal.

"This is irrational and meant to sow division. The enemy is this virus, not each other. There are ways of encouraging compliance short of making it a criminal offense, and it's working in hundreds of cities worldwide.

"It is extremely dangerous and contrary to current public health recommendations to stage a large event in an area where the number of cases is surging.

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"The RNC should be postponed or very significantly reduced in numbers because of these risks.

"It is estimated that more than 40,000 people, including the press and protestors, will attend from all over the US."

The news comes as top doc Anthony Fauci warned daily cases could surge past 100,000 if the the United States "does not turn around."


News Source: the-sun.com

Tags: coronavirus

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With Virus Cases Up, Data Suggests Americans Driving Less

The latest data from Apple Maps suggests Americans are starting to decrease how much they drive as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens in several states.

CNBC reported that the U.S. seven-day moving average of requests to call up driving directions on the app is down 6%.

There was a sharp downtrend starting in early March during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, but then it began to tick back up a month later as Americans started venturing out of their homes.

The latest decrease includes the Fourth of July, CNBC noted, which indicates that more Americans than usual opted to stay home on the holiday. Driving, walking, and transit directions are all down.

Many Fourth of July celebrations, such as parades and fireworks displays, were canceled or scaled down this year because of the virus that has infected more than 3.1 million Americans and killed around 135,000 since the first reported cases cropped up in Washington in January.

Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas — the four states with the worst virus outbreaks at the moment — have all seen a decrease in Apple Maps activity in recent days. On the other hand, states such as Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island dont have as many new cases and have not experienced a downward trend in people calling up Apple Maps directions.

No data was available from Google about its own directions app.

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