Burgum: ND's economy will reopen safely | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Burgum: ND's economy will reopen safely

Apr 20, 2020

During his daily COVID-19 briefing today, Governor Doug Burgum says he is working with the White House on strategies to reopen the state's economy.

He says the White House respects that each state will be on their own timeline, but that North Dakota's process may be easier than most since much of its own economy remained open.

"All of agriculture, all of the energy segment, all of health care, education - K-12 is being delivered through distance, but those institutions are all running and active every day."

Burgum says out of 27 executive orders issued during the coronavirus pandemic, only one of them related to closing businesses.

"Those were businesses where we had high opportunity for transmissable contact, like personal care businesses, bars and restaurants - and restaurants are still open for take out and off-sale."

Burgum says the state will be following its own North Dakota Smart Restart plan as it relates to White House guidelines, on its own timetable. He says any business that was not closed due to executive order may open at any time on their own with their own protocols.

Burgum says he was on a call today with Vice President Mike Pence and other governors nationwide that focused on how states can ramp up their testing capabilities, which he says must happen before states can safely reopen their economies. He says he feels confident North Dakota has adequate health care capacity going forward, which was a big item to check off his list.