Coronavirus | Prairie Public Broadcasting


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

Dave Thompson

Gov. Doug Burgum has declared a “State of Emergency” in North Dakota because of the COVID-19 virus.

"But I want to make sure that everyone who hears the words 'state of emergency' — that might provoke a certain image in in your mind," Burgum told Bismarck reporters. "But because North Dakota is so well-prepared, we'd like to actually declare a 'state of calm.'"

Burgum said that’s because North Dakota has had only one confirmed case of the virus. A Minot man contracted the virus while on a West Coast trip. He's at home recovering, and was not hospitalized.

COVID-19: How will it affect the economy?

Mar 13, 2020

A University of North Dakota economist says as the environment becomes more high risk in regard to the circulation of COVID-19, it will translate to volatility within the national and local economies.

David Flynn chairs the Department of Economics at UND. He says this volatility translates to uncertainty within financial markets, shopping behaviors and a lot of decisions being made with less than full information. He says this creates more issues for the public to deal with.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum said North Dakota has always been a place where neighbors care about neighbors.

"Often that caring has been, if there's a crisis or a situation, part of what we do is, everybody comes over with a hotdish," Burgum said. "Everybody knocks on the door, and said, 'What can we do? How can we help?'"

But Burgum said with the coronavirus threat, neighbors can be a little more cautious, but still can be neighborly.

"In some cases, it might be better to call that neighbor, rather than just drop by," Burgum said.

Minnesota governer proposes supplemental budget plan

Mar 12, 2020

Minnesota's governor has released a supplemental budget proposal for this year.

Tim Walz says Minnesota is in a good place financially, but he has suspected since November of last year that an economic downturn may be imminent. What he says he did not expect was COVID-19.

North Dakota has first 'presumptive' Coronavirus case

Mar 12, 2020
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota has its first “presumptive” case of coronavirus.

A Minot man – in his 60s – tested positive for the virus. He’s not hospitalized – and is staying home.

Gov. Doug Burgum told reporters the man was travelling on the West Coast, when he determined he had been in contact with a person who was infected.

"This is called 'travel contact,'" Burgum said. "And this is a piece of good news, because we actually know who the person had contact with and how they contracted it."

Thursday, March 12, 2020 – Tim Weidrich of the State Health Department starts us off with a corona virus update. ~~~ Long time Bismarck travel agent Katherine Satrom joins us from Hawaii to comment on the impact the corona virus is having for North Dakota travelers. And are the travel insurance companies going to remain solvent? ~~~ Sue Balcom shares some tips about starting plants for this week’s Main Street Eats. ~~~ Ashley and Christine have our What’s Happening calendar of events.

North Dakota's Insurance Commissioner has issued a bulletin to all North Dakota health and travel insurance companies to waive cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 testing.

Jon Godfread says the bulletin also encourages insurance companies to review other operations in preparation for the coronavirus in the state. North Dakota currently has no confirmed cases. Godfread says waiving cost-sharing should help remove any barriers to potential patients getting proper tests and medical treatment.

The state Emergency Commission has voted to accept up to $6 million in federal funds for response and containment of the new Coronavirus disease.

The money is a part of the $8.3 billion Congress allocated toward the response.

"Some of the things we've been looking at is to be able to expand the laboratory capacity for us," said North Dakota Health Department Medical Services Section Chief Kirby Kruger. "We want to make sure we are able to work with and provide resources for our local public health people to do the work they need to do to help us with this response."

UPDATED, 5PM CST: According to the North Dakota Department of Health, no COVID-19 was detected in the student in question.

A University of North Dakota student has been tested for COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, and has agreed to self-quarantine.