Governor Doug Burgum says his plan to re-open North Dakota's economy is built upon eight conditions that need to be met.
Burgum outlined those conditions at his daily COVID-19 briefing today. The first condition, which he says is being met and exceeded, is widespread, rapid testing.
"With more than 1900 tests not only collected, but coming through the labs - that's fantastic. We have catapulted to #6 in the nation of per capita testing."
The second and third conditions are robust contact tracing and targeted, effective quarantine. These conditions help find who may have been exposed, and help contain the virus before it spreads further. The fourth condition is protections for the most vulnerable. Fifth is sufficient health care capacity - and Burgum says the state is well positioned for a surge.
"I don't want to say that we've 'crushed' this one, but we've got thousands of beds available, surging up to 4,000, 6,000 beds - and so far, because of the great work on physical distancing and hygiene practices of North Dakotans showing individual responsibility, we've consumed almost none of that."
The sixth condition is adequate PPE, or personal protective equipment. Burgum says even in the event of a surge, North Dakota is well supplied with these materials. The seventh condition is new standard operating procedures for businesses as they begin to re-open their doors, and the eighth and final condition is preparations for later waves of the coronavirus.
"This is something we have to be prepared for in May, in June, throughout the summer - and we definitely have to be prepared for it this winter because right now, there is no scientific evidence that coronavirus will go away. Even if it slows down this summer, it will still be on the planet, it will be rolling through the winter flu season in the southern hemisphere and make its way back here next year, so we have to be prepared between now and until such time there may be a vaccine."