Burgum: confident, but urging caution
Governor Doug Burgum says he is feeling positive and optimistic about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in North Dakota - but also urges vigilance against the virus.
At his now weekly COVID-19 briefing, Burgum says testing remains high and positive rates have held steady and low for several weeks now. But he also says potential still exists for hot spots to emerge, even in areas that haven't had much coronavirus activity. He says one example is Arkansas, which has had lower contraction rates throughout the pandemic - recently reporting over 700 new cases in a weekend, linked to a correctional facility and a poultry processing plant.
"We talked about this early - when uncontained, you're not doing testing, you're not doing isolation, and you have rapid spread - this disease, which is two times more contagious than the flu, can spread really rapidly. So there are places in the US right now as we sit here in this comfortable spot in North Dakota, that are seeing exponential spread."
Burgum says as North Dakota continues to re-open its economy and loosen its guidelines on gatherings, residents need to be mindful and practice physical distancing and proper hand hygiene to continue to mitigate the spread throughout the summer.
He says mass testings are planned for Fargo, Bismarck, Minot, and Grand Forks this week.