Gov. Doug Burgum has issued an executive order, closing North Dakota schools from today through Friday.
Burgum said that will give local schools time to prepare plans to deal with a potential spread of the coronavirus. So far, only one person has tested positive for the disease, and more than 100 tests have come back negative. But Burgum said there is still a lack of data about it – so he wants to have plans to slow down the spread of the disease.
"If you're saying, if kids are healthy, and kids have little impact from this, could kids be going to school again this spring? They potentially could," Burgum said. "But could that include the ability to check kids' temperatures when they're coming into school, to make sure that only healthy kids were coming in, those are the kinds of things we'd like a week to plan."
So Burgum is asking school officials to come to work today and tomorrow to draw up those plans.
"We want to see that all 175 school districts in the state develop plans for when we have better data, how we would go through a process of reopening our schools," Burgum said.
So far, there has been only one case identified – a Minot man contracted the disease while on a trip. Burgum said as of Sunday, more than 100 tests have come back negative.