ND now reports 7 COVID-19 cases | Prairie Public Broadcasting

ND now reports 7 COVID-19 cases

Mar 19, 2020

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The number of COVID-19 positive cases in North Dakota is now 7.

And two new cases from Morton County are the first considered to be “community spread,” which means the source for the infection isn’t known. The other 5 were travel-related.

Gov. Doug Burgum told reporters he’s again strongly urging bars, restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses where people congregate to close. He said this is not a mandate.

"We'll be evaluating the potential for mandatory closures on a day-by-day basis, if we think we see a broadening of communty spread, or if we see more cases of where we think folks are not following the guidelines," Burgum said.

Burgum also said the state is taking other actions to try and prevent the spread of the virus. He said the state will soon announce the closing of highway rest areas.

"That's one area where there is the potential for a lot of spread," Burgum said. "And if we don't have the staff to do regular, constant cleaning of those places, we should eliminate a place where people could have contact, and spread (the virus)."

Burgum again urged North Dakotans to practice “social distancing,” and to stay home if they feel ill.

"The state's doing its part," Burgum said. "Now we're asking businesses to do theirs."