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ND COVID-19: 40 new cases, two additional deaths

May 29, 2020

Two more individuals have passed away with COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the state’s pandemic death toll to 59.

The patients were both from Cass County. One was a woman in her 90s, and the other was a man in his 70s. They had underlying health conditions.

The state health department is reporting 40 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the state, bringing the statewide positive total to 2,520.

As the Burgum Administration looks at reinstating visitation in long term care facilities, AARP is urging that be done in careful adherence to CMS guidelines, to ensure the health of staff, visitors and residents.

AARP is also urging those long term care facilities to offer and facilitate “virtual” visits with loved ones in those facilities.

AARP state director Josh Askvig said a few weeks ago, the state announced it had received a grant that was going to help facilitate some of this.

ND COVID-19: 1 more death, 42 new positives

May 28, 2020

North Dakota’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to 57 after one more individual passed away with the novel coronavirus.


The patient was a man in his 80s from Cass County. He had underlying health conditions.


42 new individuals from six counties have also tested positive for COVID-19. 36 were from Cass County, two were from Burleigh County. Grand Forks, Richland, Traill and Ward Counties all had one new case.


State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte resigns

May 28, 2020

State health officer Mylynn Tufte has resigned.

She’s been with the Burgum Administration for the past three years.

Gov. Doug Burgum said Tufte will leave June 1, and return to private practice. At his Capitol briefing Wednesday, Burgum praised Tufte.

"She's been terrific through this whole (coronavirus) thing," Burgum said. "She's been tireless in her energy, in doing one of the biggest jobs in the state. She's doing it with a lot of poise."

The Public Service Commission will hold an informal hearing with the three investor-owned utilities that serve North Dakota to see what effects the COVID-19 pandemic have had on their incomes and expenditures.

The three are Montana Dakota Utilities, Xcel Energy and Otter Tail.

"Utilities are experiencing unanticipated costs due to COVID-19," said PSC Chairman Brian Kroshus. "They could range rom an increase in bad debt, uncollectable amounts from businesses and induviduals, as a result of the pandemic."

Two more individuals have passed away with COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the statewide coronavirus pandemic death toll to 56.

The patients were both women from Cass County with underlying health conditions. One was in her 90s, the other was in her 70s.

Additionally, 17 new cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed by the state health department. The cases were from a pool of 1,048 tests, for a daily positive rate of 1.6 percent.

16 of the new cases were from Cass County. Grand Forks County had one new case.

State lab re-testing due to equipment malfunction

May 26, 2020

During his COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, Governor Doug Burgum addressed the testing equipment malfunction at the state lab that resulted in 82 false positive tests.

Burgum says in any complex, highly automated process - equipment malfunctions can be expected. He says the most important thing is that this issue was caught early, and is being corrected quickly.

43 new cases of COVID-19 from four North Dakota counties have been confirmed by the state health department.

There were 38 new cases in Cass County and three new cases in Grand Forks County. Rolette and Walsh Counties each reported one new case.

The total number of positives in North Dakota since the pandemic began is 2,422. Today’s positive rate is 4.4 percent.

The chairman of a task force working on ways to safely allow family members to visit their relatives in long term care facilities is hoping to have a draft proposal ready for Gov. Doug Burgum this week.

Visitation was severly restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That task force is chaired by Christopher Larson, a resident of the Luther Memorial Home in Mayville.

"A lot of my fellow residents are yearning for a visit with their loved ones," Larson said in an interview. "That's something happening across the state."

The COVID-19 pandemic meant North Dakota colleges and universities could only offer only online learning for much of  the spring semester.

That began in March.

Colleges are now preparing to reopen for the fall.

Dickinson State University President Dr. Stephen Easton has been hearing a lot of feedback from both students and faculty about how things went since March -- what worked, and what didn't.