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Coronavirus

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Find our Coronavirus live blog here, updated with daily positive totals and news from around the state.

Sunday, March 22, 2020 – The state braces for another week of coronavirus- related testing, closures, and more. News Director Dave Thompson has the latest from state officials ~~~ Schools across the region are closed. Doug Hamilton talks with North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler. ~~~ The pandemic has Job Service hopping, with unemployment numbers making a sharp rise and claims for benefits coming in. Joining us to discuss the challenge, the implications for the department’s budget, and the Job Service events being cancelled, is Sarah Arntson, Job Service communications officer. ~~~ Finding yourself homeschooling? The PBS Writers Contest is accepting submission. We learn about the fun, literacy-boosting project you can do at home with Prairie Public’s Communications Manager Marie Offutt and Digital Communication Specialist Christine McClellan.

ND now reporting 30 COVID-19 cases; four hospitalized

Mar 23, 2020
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota is now reporting 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Two were confirmed Sunday – a woman in her 30s in Burleigh County, and a man in his 40s in Pierce County. Of the 30 people with the virus, four are hospitalized.

Cass County – North Dakota’s most populous – has only reported one case so far. Gov. Doug Burgum told reporters one reason may be Sanford Fargo was sending their tests to national laboratories, including Quest Labs.

ND reports 2 more positive COVID-19 tests; 30 total cases

Mar 22, 2020

The North Dakota Department of Health has this evening confirmed two additional positive tests for COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the statewide total to 30.

One case is a woman in her 30s residing in Burleigh County who had a history of travel; the other is a man in his 40s in Pierce County that is contact related.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

More confirmed COVID-19 cases, more restrictions being put in place.

Gov. Doug Burgum issued an executive order closing of bars, restaurants, breweries and other dining establishments to on-site patrons. He said that is statewide. But Burgum is asking those establishments to continue with take-out, delivery, curbside, drive-through and off-sale services to continue.

"We hope they find a way to keep serving their customers." Burgum told Bismarck reporters.

19 cases of COVID-19 in ND; bars, restaurants to close

Mar 19, 2020

Twelve additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in North Dakota, bringing the new total to 19.

Ten of the new cases were located in Burleigh County. One patient has been hospitalized.

Thursday, March 19, 2020 – The pandemic has Job Service hopping, with unemployment numbers making a sharp rise and claims for benefits coming in. Joining us to discuss the challenge, and the implications for the department’s budget, and the Job Service events being cancelled, is Sarah Arntson, Job Service communications officer. ~~~ NPR’s Kirk Siegler takes a look at how rural hospitals are preparing for the increasing threat of COVID-19. ~~~ From our television department, an excerpt from the Prairie Public documentary, “Women Behind the Plow.” In this excerpt we hear from Zeeland farmers, mother and daughter Joyce and Emily Sherr. ~~~ Sue Balcom discusses soap making in this week’s episode of “Main Street Eats.” But please, don’t eat the soap! ~~~ Our normal What’s Happening segment gives way to a few Not Happening announcements, and Mark Trahant shares some thoughts about the national response to the pandemic.

State health officials have confirmed eight additional cases of COVID-19 detected in North Dakota, bringing the total to 15.

The patients are located in Burleigh and Morton counties and include – one man in his 60s in Morton County, and in Burleigh County a woman in her 50s, a man in his 70s, a man in his 40s, a woman in her 20s, a man in his 30s, a woman in her 20s and a man in his 60s. State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte says these results underscore the importance of practicing social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

ND now reports 7 COVID-19 cases

Mar 19, 2020
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.

The Behavioral Health Division at the North Dakota Department of Human Services is offering services to help North Dakotans’ behavioral health during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Director Pam Sagness says it’s normal to feel anxiety and worry during this outbreak, but it’s also important to take care of our own behavioral health, as well as that of other vulnerable people in the community. She says during this period of social distancing, individuals may feel isolated, which can contribute to poor behavioral health.

Dave Thompson

The chairman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission said representatives of the three investor-owned utility companies – Xcel, MDU and Otter Tail – have been communicating with the Commission on their plans for their customers during the current coronavirus pandemic, and to keep the lights on.

"I think we have a good plan going forward to ensure reliable service continues," said PSC Chairman Brian Kroshus.

Kroshus said the plans include easing of shut-offs for select individuals, that may find themselves in that situation.

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