How the governors of Iowa, Utah, and North Dakota pivoted and issued public health orders to contain recent coronavirus surges

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Cases of coronavirus are surging across the United States. As more people congregate indoors in the cold weather and pandemic fatigue leads to more risk-taking behavior, data shows an alarming surge of new daily coronavirus cases.

The US has a total of over 11 million confirmed cases and over 250,000 deaths from coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged the public in recent weeks to forgo any travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and a bipartisan group of governors from seven states penned an op-ed in the Washington Post asking families to “reconsider” spending the holiday with “people outside your household.”

In addition to recommendations from the national level, a number of states and cities have announced new restrictions in the wake of the rising cases, including three governors who have pivoted from their previous stances to enforce statewide mask mandates.

Here’s how the governors of Utah, Iowa, and South Dakota eventually ordered the policies in response to the country’s third wave. 

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds previously dismissed ideas of a mask mandate as “just kind of a feel-good” measure.

In July, Reynolds said on a Des Moines radio show that she would not enforce a mask mandate, which she brushed off, saying she believes in Iowans. 

“No, I’m not going to mandate masks. I trust Iowans. I believe in Iowans,” she said on the show, The Quad-City Times reported in July. “Most of the states or entities that have done that, they’ve actually gone as far as to say we’re not going to enforce it, so it’s just kind of a feel-good.”

In the month of July, Iowa was seeing record cases of new daily cases. The Gazette reported on July 4 that the new daily case surpassed Iowa’s peak seven-day rolling average. According to the COVID Tracking Project as of July 30, Iowa had a total of over confirmed 43,000 cases of coronavirus.

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In September, Reynolds said that the state’s goal was to “reduce the spread of the virus” but she believed “we can get there without a mask mandate,” according to the Associated Press.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert did not enforce a mask mandate, explaining he did not “want this to become a divisive issue.”

Herbert did not opt for a mask mandate, saying in June he didn’t want wearing masks to “become a divisive issue.” The governor did not adopt a statewide mask mandate even as key lawmakers including Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson and state Senate President J. Stuart Adams encouraged mask requirements, Deseret News reported in July.

The lawmakers spoke out as multiple Utah business leaders signed a letter calling for a mask mandate, citing the high coronavirus infection rates. 

According to the COVID Tracking project, Utah had a total of over 40,000 coronavirus cases on July 31. 

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum did not make mask recommendations into mask mandates prior to this month.

Burgum did not require state residents to wear a …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Politics

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