Staff and inmates at South Dakota prisons are no longer required to wear masks; Gov. Kristi Noem has issued an executive order lifting the requirement.
Noem’s move was spurred by a meeting she had with employees at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls over an anonymous complaint about sexual harrassment, nepotism in raises, poor pay, and low morale.
Noem’s move comes as COVID-19 cases have seen a recent uptick and it defies a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that masks still be worn in facilities like prisons.
Among neighboring states, South Dakota is the only one to lift a mask requirement in prisons.