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They Resisted COVID Measures, Until Now

Some governors are relenting as numbers rise
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2020 2:10 PM CST

(Newser) – Coronavirus infections are ravaging South Dakota, where more than half of tests have come back positive for weeks. Republican Gov. Kristi Noem won't issue a mask mandate but suggests smaller gatherings "may be smarter this year." Some governors who for months echoed President Trump's criticism of measures to control the coronavirus are now relenting, including North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who recently ordered the use of masks statewide, the AP reports. Republican and Democratic governors from several Midwestern states issued a joint video urging people to say home for Thanksgiving and wear masks to slow the spread of the virus until a vaccine is widely available. Hospitals in many states are running out of beds and are short on nurses.

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"We know what will happen. We know that three to four weeks from Thanksgiving, we will see an exacerbation of the outbreaks," said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. Meanwhile, the AP reports that in Nevada, Gov. Steve Sisolak is attempting the complex maneuver of urging residents to stay home while inviting out-of-state visitors to come spend their money. CDC scientists believe about 40% of infected people don't have obvious symptoms but can still spread the virus. The US leads the world with 11.9 million cases and more than 254,000 deaths. For other coronavirus statistics, including fatality rates and the number of cases per 100,000 people, try this useful county-by-county map from Johns Hopkins University.

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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