The boom has pushed hospitals to the edge of a precipice even as companies struggle to maintain a healthy workforce. In response, many of these governors acknowledged the failure of their permissive strategies and pushed for stricter health rules and concealment of mandates to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We have relied on people to be responsible, and they’re behaving irresponsibly,” said Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon Friday.
However, other governors, including South Dakota, continued to resist measures such as ordering masks.
Here’s a look at how these rulers dealt with increased falls.
South Dakota. Christy Noem
“There are many other people who question the effectiveness of masks,” she wrote in an opinion piece last month. “South Dakota residents should take the time to read this information so they can make informed decisions for themselves and their families.” “As I said before, if people want to wear a mask, they should be free to do so. Likewise, people who do not want to wear a mask should not feel ashamed of wearing it. The government should not impose it on them.”
Judy Doring, a nurse in the South Dakota state emergency room, said some people who die in hospital still deny the virus has spread.
“They don’t want to believe this is real Covid,” she said. Their last words are: “This can’t happen. It’s not real. “
Despite the growing health disaster, Naoum said Friday that her strategy has worked.
North Dakota State Doug Borghum
Governor Doug Borghum, a businessman elected Republican in 2016, has resisted mandating the mask since the start of the pandemic.
But this situation has become untenable in recent weeks as Covid-19 has passed through the state. Per capita, North Dakota has the largest number of coronavirus cases and new deaths over the past seven days of any US state, and ranks second in new hospitals after South Dakota.
Over the weekend, he issued public health rules requiring people to wear masks indoors and limit indoor gatherings.
“At the moment, the data requires a higher level of mitigation efforts to reverse these dangerous trends, slow the spread of this virus and avoid the need for an economic shutdown,” Borgham said in a video message announcing the measures. Our situation has changed and we have to change with it. “
In addition, Burgum’s executive order limits the capacity of people in bars, restaurants, and event venues.
“We believe in North Dakota. We believe in the power of individual responsibility. We need individual responsibility now more than ever to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Burgum.
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon
In the nation’s least populous state, Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican who took office in 2019, did not issue stay-at-home orders in the spring nor required people to wear masks.
However, after months of advising residents to take “personal responsibility” to protect themselves, Friday admitted that the strategy had failed. Wyoming has ranked fourth in the number of daily new coronavirus cases per capita over the past seven days, along with a sharp rise in hospitalizations and deaths.
At a press conference filled with frustration and anger, he called people “joint heads” for their irresponsible behavior, and said, “It’s time to wake up Wyoming and get it serious about what it’s doing.”
Gordon said the virus itself has hurt the workforce more than any government measures.
“We have more businesses around the state that have been shut down by sick workers than any health orders we have,” he said.
He said, “If I can’t count on you, we’ll have to do something else.”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds
Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican who took office in 2017, has resisted mandates of masks and closures for several months.
Now, Iowa is only behind Dakota in measuring new coronavirus cases when it adjusts for population, and the state has the fourth-largest number of hospitalized people per capita. The seven-day positivity rate is over 50%, behind South Dakota and Wyoming.
She said hospitals were pushed to the edge of a precipice due to the spread of the virus, and accused many Iowans of being “satisfied” with the need to flatten the curve.
“This does not mean that these changes will be easy or common, but they are necessary if we are to keep our business open, our children in school and our health care systems,” she said.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Rickets
Governor Pete Ricketts, the Republican businessman who has held the office of governor since 2015, has gone further than nearly any other governor in his resistance to state concealment.
“This is a very dangerous situation for our hospitals, and we need to be part of slowing the spread of this virus,” he said on Friday.
The level of restrictions in the state depends on the availability of state hospital beds, but even the restrictions are fairly minor.
Ricketts also asked people to wear masks but rejected statewide requirements, saying, “I support educating people.”
On Friday, he spoke while at home with his wife after a dinner guest tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. He had tested negative for the virus.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little
The Idaho outbreak is not as dire as other neighboring states – per capita, it has ranked seventeenth in terms of the number of new infections in the past seven days.
However, Governor Brad Little, the Republican who took office last year, acknowledged that the strategy so far, with no statewide mandate and few restrictions on rallies, had not been effective. In particular, he said that public education about wearing masks was not sufficient.
He said that half of Idaho’s residents are subject to local masking mandates, but people do not comply or take off their masks in private social settings. Hospitals warn that they may soon have to start rationing care.
So on Friday, Little announced that he was signing a Public Health Order returning the state to the second phase of its plan to reopen, which bans gatherings of more than 10 people at home and abroad, except for religious and political gatherings.
Little did not issue a statewide mask mandate, but he did summon 100 National Guard members to support the health care system.
“Our hospitals and other health care providers are telling us that a lot of health care workers across Idaho have contracted Covid disease, and they are contracting it within the community. Healthy doctors and nurses are suffering from overwork and overwork,” he said.
CNN’s Artemis Mushtagian, Raja Razek, Gisela Crespo and Nkiye McNab contributed to this report.