Burgum closes bars and restaurants, allows take-out and off sale; schools closed until April 1 | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Burgum closes bars and restaurants, allows take-out and off sale; schools closed until April 1

Mar 20, 2020

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

More confirmed COVID-19 cases, more restrictions being put in place.

Gov. Doug Burgum issued an executive order closing of bars, restaurants, breweries and other dining establishments to on-site patrons. He said that is statewide. But Burgum is asking those establishments to continue with take-out, delivery, curbside, drive-through and off-sale services to continue.

"We hope they find a way to keep serving their customers." Burgum told Bismarck reporters.

Burgum is also closing state buildings to the public – from now through at least April 6. That means if you don’t have official business, you will not be allowed in.

"It's important for us, from a 'continuity of government' standpoint, to insure that the state employees who are delivering essential services to the citizens of North Dakota that they remain healthy," Burgum said.

North Dakota K-12 schools will also be closed for another seven instructional days, with a projected April 1 reopening date.     

"We spend about $8 million a day on schools," Burgum said. "For that $8 million,  let's figure out a way to provide alternative education, when we may not have access to our buildings because of a growing pandemic."

Many school districts in North Dakota will be providing classes online, until the schools open their doors.

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

State school superintendent Kirsten Baesler told reporters the educational community is doing great things in a time of trial.

"When they are empowered, and given the room that they need to be innovative, they are showing that they can accompish great things," Baesler said. "They are building emergency alternative plans, and putting them into effect at the same time."

Baesler said local broadband Internet providers are also stepping up to help provide services to those families that may not have high-speed connections.