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Governors in North and South Dakota and Iowa argue

That would match the extension of federal social distancing guidelines set by the White House. So far, the Trump administration has resisted issuing a national “stay-at-home” mandate. Three of the four states bordering Minnesota have yet to issue such a directive.

“I do worry about that,” Walz said during a news briefing last week.

Governors in North and South Dakota and Iowa argue that they are taking steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 that fit their states.

“Our team’s decision-making is guided by the realities on the USA News ground in South Dakota, rather than trying to apply a one-size-fits-all approach,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said in a written statement. “South Dakota is not New York City.”

South Dakota has reported 288 confirmed COVID-19 cases and four deaths from the virus.

On Monday, Noem issued a three-week stay-at-home order for residents of Lincoln and Minnehaha counties who are 65 years and older and those with certain chronic conditions. School is now closed across the state for the rest of the year and Noem toughened language in last month’s executive order, making it imperative that residents follow numerous social distancing guidelines to stem the virus’ spread.

In North Dakota, 225 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed as of Monday and four people had died.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum emphasized last week that the state will use every tool it has to protect the lives and safety of citizens. But he’ll use each of them when it makes sense, he said.

“We’re fortunate here to be in the Dakotas. We’re at the tail end of this thing … so we’re on different timetables,” he said late last week. Because North Dakota is large and sparsely populated, “people are spread out.”

Nevertheless, Burgum has taken numerous steps to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, including closing schools, bars, gyms, movie theaters and in-dining at restaurants.

On Monday, he ordered those who test positive for COVID-19 to be quarantined for 14 days as well as those who live with them. He suspended visitation at long-term facilities except for end-of-life or compassionate care.

In Iowa on Monday, Gov. Kim Reynolds expanded the number of businesses Press Release Distribution Services to be closed, including malls, bingo halls, bowling alleys, zoos, campgrounds and libraries. The list, however, stops short of a statewide “stay-at-home” mandate that Iowa medical groups are advocating. Reynolds said Monday she supports a “targeted and systematic approach.”

She reiterated that she wants Iowans to stay home as much as possible and not gather in groups of more than 10 people.

“I believe most Iowans are being responsible,” she said.

Minnesota’s “stay-at-home” order came after Walz took a succession of similar actions to shut down businesses and public gathering places. The governor said last week his team of experts will review the data and the results of the order.

“If we can make changes we will,” Walz said, adding that it’s vital that Minnesota not jeopardize the gains it has already made.

Staff writer Chris Snowbeck and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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