Burleigh-Morton COVID-19 Task Force being established | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Burleigh-Morton COVID-19 Task Force being established

Jul 30, 2020

A new COVID-19 task force is being organized in Burleigh and Morton Counties.

This follows a spike in reported cases in that area.

Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health director Renae Moch told reporters the biggest increase in the infection rate in the two counties is among people in their 20s and 30s.

"Obviously, they're the individuals out in the community, who are more active, working, maybe with front-line jobs, doing service type positions," Moch said.

Moch said there's also a concern about students going back to college this fall.

"We're keeping an eye on that population," Moch said. "That means congregate settings for living and working. It's an area we're going to keep an eye on going forward."

North Dakota’s Chief Operating Officer Tammy Miller said the Burleigh-Morton infection rates are above the state’s 14 day rolling average.

"Our goal is for that number to be at or below the state average," Miller said. "And we'd like to accomplish that as quickly as possible."

Miller said the Red River Valley Task Force, established after COVID-19 cases spiked in the Fargo-Moorhead area, was able to accomplish the same goal in a few months.

The strategy will include more testing, more contact tracing, and messaging. And people will be encouraged to wear masks, especially when they cannot practice social distancing.

"The three most important things that you can do to protect yourself, your family members and others, is to wear a mask, social-distance and wash your hands," said CHI-St.Alexius President Kurt Schley.

The other members of the task force have not yet been appointed.