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ND Long Term Care Association

The president of the North Dakota Long Term Care Association said all of the state’s long term care facilities are allowing COVID-19 testing.

Earlier, Gov. Doug Burgum had said at one of his COVID-19 briefings he was aware that three of those facilities were not allowing testing.

But Shelly Peterson said she thinks the issue with that was communication. She said some of the testing, for example, had been scheduled for Mother’s Day.

Legislature preparing for remote access

May 19, 2020

The Legislature’s Procedures and Arrangements Committee has voted to spend $750,000 of federal money to wire Legislative committee rooms and the two chambers for remote access.

The money comes from the federal “CARES Act.” It will be a line item in the Information Technology budget.

"I'm optimistic that we're going to be meeting, just like we have always met, in person," said the Commitee chairman, Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson). "However, we do need to have a back-up, in case something comes up that we're not aware of."

The president of the state Board of Higher Education said the past semester has been a challenge – as students were forced to take classes on-line, rather than in person, because of the coronavirus.

Nick Hacker said the safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff is the system’s top concern.

"We want to thank students, faculty and staff for working toegther, and literally turning higher education on its head in a matter of weeks, to transition 11,000 face to face courses to alternative delivery formats," Hacker said.

Additional COVID-19 death; 31 new cases in ND

May 18, 2020

One more North Dakotan has passed away with COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 44.

The patient was a woman in her 90s from Ramsey County. She had underlying health conditions.

31 new individuals also tested positive for the novel coronavirus, out of 2,066 tests from yesterday. 1,340 of those tested were tested for the first time. Since the pandemic began, 1,931 people have tested positive out of 65,911 tests.

26 of the new cases were from Cass County. Three were from Burleigh County, while Ransom and Sioux Counties each reported one new case.

COVID-19: 1 new death, 52 new cases in ND

May 17, 2020

One more individual has passed away with COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the statewide death toll to 43.


The patient was a man in his 90s from Cass County. He had underlying health conditions.


52 new cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed by the state health department, out of 2,558 tests completed yesterday. 1,734 of those tested were tested for the first time. 


88 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in North Dakota

May 16, 2020

A total of 88 new individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the statewide overall positive count to 1,848.

Cass County alone had 75 new cases. Grand Forks County had 8 new cases, Burleigh County had three new cases, and Mountail County had two new cases. 

A total of 2,861 tests were completed yesterday, with 1,772 of them being unique. 5 percent of them tested positve. 63,353 tests have been completed in all, with 53,487 of them being unique.

Burgum: guidelines for gatherings

May 15, 2020

Governor Doug Burgum says his administration is releasing guidelines tonight for large gatherings, as the state makes further strides to return to a "new normal" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burgum says North Dakota is currently at a moderate risk level in terms of the spread of the disease. A couple of months ago, he says the risk level was much more critical. But since then a lot of preparation has been done to strengthen the state's response readiness, and to slow the spread. Right now, Burgum says the state is moving toward "phase one."

ND COVID-19 death toll rises to 42

May 15, 2020

Two additional individuals have passed away with COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 42.

The patients were both men. One was in his 40s, from Grand Forks County. The other was in his 90s, from Cass County. Both had underlying health conditions.

Out of 2,310 people tested yesterday, 52 more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 43 of the new positive cases were from Cass County. Grand Forks County reports three new cases, Burleigh and Morton Counties each report two new cases, and Rollette and Stutsman Counties each report one new case.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Governor Burgum has a goal: increase testing for COVID-19 to 4000 tests per day this month, and 6000 per day in June.

The state isn’t there – yet.

And the issue might be lab capacity. The state lab in Bismarck has added staff and has been working around the clock to process tests. But Burgum said that won’t be enough.

"To get to those higher numbers, we's going to need private sector partners," Burgum said at his Thursday briefing.

Record low air travel in ND, thanks to coronavirus

May 15, 2020

April brought with it a record low number of people flying out of North Dakota airports, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We saw a 95 percent decrease in the numbers we would normally have, compared to last April," said North Dakota Aeronautics Director Kyle Wanner. "Only about 5000 passengers utilized the airports over the last month, which is a drastic change from normal."

That normal number is around 89,000.

Wanner said he’s been asked how this compares with what happened after 9-11.