Gov. Burgum planning a 'phased' reopening of businesses Friday | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Gov. Burgum planning a 'phased' reopening of businesses Friday

Apr 28, 2020

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Setting the stage for businesses in North Dakota, closed by executive order due to COVID-19, to start to re-open Friday.

"If the current trends progress, and hold over the next couple of days, our intention would be to let the current executive orders expire Thursday," Gov. Doug Burgum said at his Monday coronavirus briefing.

The executive order covers bars, dine-in restaurants, personal care facilities, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors and places where large crowds can gather.

"No state could reopen if you didn't have highly responsible individuals," Burgum told reporters. "In North Dakota, we've proven that if you have limited government and high individual responsibility, that's a great combination, because the goal is to reduce the spread (of the virus), which we did. And that was fantastic."

Burgum said Tuesday, he will outline what those businesses will have to do to reopen under “Phase One” guidelines.

"And those Phase One guidelines would include everything related to physical distancing, limiting contact, hygiene, masks, etc., that will vary by business or industry," Burgum said. "We would encourage all businesses that are telecommuting to continue, and we would encourage schools to continue to do distance learning."

Burgum said teams from the Department of Commerce have been working with various industry groups on reopening. He said a new executive order will be issued – and will include both rules and guidelines for this phased-in opening.

"When we started, we said we were well-positioned," Burgum said. "And as we enter this new phase, we continue to be well prepared and well-positioned, and that's a great spot to be in."