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

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.

Fargo, Moorhead, Cass County: "prepare, not panic"

Mar 18, 2020

City and county governments in the Fargo-Moorhead and Cass County area are working together with state and local health officials to monitor the spread of and response to COVID-19.

Four new cases of COVID-19 reported in ND

Mar 18, 2020
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota now has 5 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Two of the cases are in Ward County, two in Burleigh County and one in Cass County. All are considered to be travel related.

None of the people have been hospitalized – all are recovering at home.

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction recently sent out guidelines for schools as they deal with concerns over the coronavirus. Joining us to discuss those guidelines and some of the issues schools are facing is department superintendent Kirsten Baesler.

Monday, March 16, 2020 – From the Conversations on Healthcare Podcast, we hear from Dr. Joseph Kvedar, a pioneer in the telehealth movement and president-elect of the American Telemedicine Association. He visits with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter about the evolving role of telehealth and remote monitoring, especially against the backdrop of the current pandemic. ~~~ Tom Isern shares a Plains Folk essay that remembers Hazel Miner on the 100th anniversary of the great blizzard that took the young heroine’s life. ~~~ In a story that first aired on All Things Considered, NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with journalist Sierra Crane Murdoch about her new book Yellow Bird. It follows the story of a Native American woman and her quest to find a missing oil worker on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. ~~~ From the UND Presidential Podcast, Interim President Joshua Wynne sits down with Associate Dean Dr. Don Warne, director of the Indians into Medicine and the Public Health programs at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He also talks with Dr. Nicole Redvers, assistant professor in the INMED program. The three talk about the spread of COVID-19 and the challenges the disease presents for underserved communities.

Scammers will capitalize on COVID-19

Mar 16, 2020

Over the next several days, weeks and possibly months, consumers should be on high alert for scams related to COVID-19.

This, according to North Dakota's Director of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection and Anti-Trust Division. Parrell Grossman says scammers will no doubt capitalize on this rapidly changing situation, and the scam variations will be endless.

The president of the organization that represents teachers in North Dakota said he believes Gov. Burgum and state school superintendent Kirsten Baesler did the right thing by closing schools for five days – in response to the coronavirus.

"It was encouraging to see that the Governor and his team, and Superintendent Baesler put the health and safety of the students and teachers first," said NDU president Nick Archuleta. "I think our teachers are by and large very appreciative of that."

Burgum orders schools closed for the week

Mar 16, 2020

Gov. Doug Burgum has issued an executive order, closing North Dakota schools from today through Friday.

Burgum said that will give local schools time to prepare plans to deal with a potential spread of the coronavirus. So far, only one person has tested positive for the disease, and more than 100 tests have come back negative. But Burgum said there is still a lack of data about it – so he wants to have plans to slow down the spread of the disease.