South Dakota is seeing the highest seven-day coronavirus positivity rate in the US. When asked about the increase, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken told CNN’s John King that his state values personal freedom — so there haven’t been many lockdowns and restrictions.
“And with that comes an increase in cases. And so we're certainly surging right now. We’re not hiding from that fact," he added.
The mayor attributed the positivity rate to events, as well as schools and universities resuming.
However, the health care system is “comfortable” in handling this surge, even though he says “they are operating at a pretty intense level in terms of the cases they are seeing.”
“That being said, of course, we want to see the hospitalization numbers decrease," he added.
TenHaken described a “light-touch government approach” to mandates and lockdowns. Instead, they focus has been on ramping up messaging.
“If we take a personal freedom approach that comes with responsibility, that comes with mask-wearing when you feel it's appropriate, that comes with social distancing," he said.