Burgum extends business closure order, shortens the wait time for jobless benefits | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Burgum extends business closure order, shortens the wait time for jobless benefits

Apr 2, 2020

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum has extended the closure order for certain businesses until April 20th.

That includes restaurants , bars, theaters, fitness clubs and hairdressers.

They were supposed to remain closed until April 5th.

Burgum called that decision “pragmatic.”

"We're getting so much more information every day," Burgum told reporters at his daily COVID-19 briefing. "We will have a lot more information before April 20th."

Burgum said he will make a further decision about the closures by April 15th.

"We will know whether some of the states have hit their peak," Burgum said. "We'll know whether the forecasts are accurate."

This order modification will include state-owned sites.

"We want to be closed as long as we have to to save lives," Burgum said. "Not a day longer."

Unemployment benefits

Burgum has signed an executive order that waives a mandatory two-week waiting period for unemployment benefits.

"Waiving the waiting week does not increase the amount of money any indivdiual is eligible to receive," Burgum said. "It just helps gets the payments to someone sooner."

Burgum said if you are eligible, and if you qualify, you won't have to wait before getting a check.

This comes as unemployment claims have continued to climb. Since March 16th, more than 28,600 unemployment claims have been filed.

"That's 7,000 more than we had in the entire year of 2019," Burgum said.

Energy and hospitality workers make up the biggest share of those seeking jobless benefits.