On Friday, South Dakota became the latest state to see at least one covid-19 death for every 1,000 residents, joining New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Mississippi and North Dakota. The country also surpassed 13 million known coronavirus cases during a holiday season upended by the pandemic. Even with travel significantly down from last year, millions went through airport checkpoints in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, and governors on Friday urged people not to let down their guard amid Black Friday shopping…

In South Dakota, for instance, Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) remains resistant to a statewide mask mandate. She has also given her blessing to mass gatherings, encouraging people to come out over the summer for a nearly 500,000-person motorcycle rally that many experts feared would be a superspreader of the virus.

Within weeks of the 10-day rally, the Dakotas, along with Wyoming, Minnesota and Montana, had the highest new infections per capita in the country, though experts say it is impossible to know how many of those cases stemmed from the event, given failures to track and contact-trace attendees.