Local residents give opinions on if masks should be worn in public

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Governor Noem held a press conference to discuss developments surrounding the coronavirus this week.

Among the topics discussed were recommendations for wearing face masks. A portion of the population is wearing facial masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

But wearing the masks has never been mandated or required by the U.S. Center for Disease Control or (CDC).

“Well, I recommend that South Dakotans make the best decision that’s for them and their families,” said Gov. Kristi Noem. “I do have masks, I haven’t been in public events where there’s large amounts of people to where it’s been necessary.”

But what do local residents think? Do they consider the masks a necessity, or just an extra accessory?

“It’s just, it feels normal right now, that these are the times that we’re in,” said Rapid City resident Gary Gualano. “Social distancing really is for people that aren’t wearing masks, but those of us that do, probably have a lot more confidence that I’m not sharing with anybody what I might have, and I’m not getting what they might give.”

“Last time reported that I checked, there weren’t that many active cases in Rapid City, so I feel like the chances are lower than say California. But, I still think it’s necessary,” says Philip Brown.

“Well I guess, we’re all just trying to be safe,” said Ria Gualano. “We’re all just trying to get through this, so just practicing all of the guidelines put out from the CDC is the best option.”

From a medical standpoint, the masks are still recommended when it is not possible to social distance, and for people to be considerate of those around them.

“So, there’s a misconception that the mask is actually protecting you, but in fact the opposite is true, you’re protecting those around you from yourself,” said Jill Tice, the Vice President of Quality Safe and Risk Management at Monument Health. “So it’s important to remember that just because you’re not having signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or any other illness, it’s still right now important to wear those masks when you are out in public to protect those around us.”

The biggest form of protection is to practice good and frequent hand hygiene as well as keeping distance from other people. As for local thoughts on whether South Dakota businesses should open or not, views vary.

While some believe it is too early to open, others believe that there should be stricter requirements for wearing masks.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News