Noem Still Against Even Recommending Voluntary Use Of Masks Posted by John Axtell Date: November 19, 2020 453 Views South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem continues to not only oppose the idea of requiring residents to wear masks as part of the COVID-19 fight, she’s still against even encouraging the use of masks. Noem held her first coronavirus update news conference in over 3 months on Wednesday and used the occasion to defend people who choose not to wear masks in public. The governor, who’s spent much of the past 2 months campaigning for President Trump, said those who don’t wear masks are making a “personal decision” and she asked that people respect them for it. Noem opposes both masks and social distancing, saying instead that the best thing people can do to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to wash their hands. The number of COVID-19 deaths in South Dakota stood at 674 on Wednesday, including 249 in the month of November.