South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said there “won’t be social distancing” and masks will be optional at this weekend’s Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore, which President Trump said he’ll attend.

In an interview with Fox News, Noem said those who are concerned about the event — which is actually taking place on July 3 — should stay home.

“We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one,” she said.

However, she added:

“But we won’t be social distancing. We’re asking them to come, be ready to celebrate, to enjoy the freedoms and the liberties that we have in this country and to talk about our history and what it brought us today with an opportunity to raise our kids in the greatest country in the world.”

What we know about the event: According to, there was an online lottery for tickets, and the park will be closed to general visitation during the event, opening to ticketed guests at 3:00 p.m. local time. 

There may be health screening for ticketed guests in one area, but the website warns: “This event will be attended by thousands. Participants will be in close contact for an extended amount of time, please plan accordingly.”

CNN put in requests with the park, the National Park Service, and the Governor’s office for details on how many tickets have been distributed and what, if any, measures will be taken to enforce social distancing or the wearing of face coverings.

A recording on the park’s main telephone line Monday said, “There are no social distancing requirements in place at this time.” 

Source: CNN


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