Governor Doug Burgum says at this time, he will not be issuing a statewide mask mandate in North Dakota.
But Burgum says he does believe masks work, and that the more people wearing them the better.
Burgum says a statewide mandate may be difficult to enforce, and it may also be complicated to determine who could be exempt from such a mandate. But he says individual businesses and people making the decision to wear masks is a positive step that goes a long way in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
At his weekly coronavirus briefing, Burgum displayed a chart that showed different distances breath particles can travel with coughs and sneezes from persons both wearing masks and not wearing masks.
"We can debate on who does it and who makes the decision, but let's end the debate on whether or not it's a positive thing. It doesn't affect you if somebody else wears a mask - it actually helps you if somebody else wears a mask. So if you're someone who can't wear a mask for any reason, let's join in the chorus of thanking people that are, and having empathy to understand that they may have a reason, a family member, a child, someone else in close working conditions at work - that they have to do that."
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced a statewide mask mandate Wednesday afternoon that goes into effect Saturday at 12am.