Coronavirus | Prairie Public Broadcasting


More resources: 

Find our Coronavirus live blog here, updated with news and announcements around the state.

Find our upcoming interactive radio town halls, presentented by Main Street.

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.

ND Health Dept: 67 new coronavirus cases

May 14, 2020

Another 67 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in North Dakota, bringing the new statewide positive total to 1,712.

1,366 individuals were tested yesterday. The daily positive rate of completed tests was 4.9 percent. 50,311 tests have been completed overall.

So far, 1,007 people have recovered from COVID-19, and 40 people have died. The total number of active cases is 665.

57 of the new cases were from Cass County. Another six cases were from Grand Forks County. Burleigh, Mountrail, Richland and Williams Counties each report one new case.

DOT reopens

May 14, 2020
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s Department of Transportation opened to the Public Monday.

It’s appointment-only.  And the DOT sites have been very busy.

"On Monday, we took in an extremely high volume of calls for drivers' licenses and motor vehicles," said DOT Drivers' License Division Director Brad Schaffer. "We're working through that."

Schaffer said appointments are being scheduled as quickly as possible.

The state health department is confirming two additional COVID-19 deaths in North Dakota, raising the statewide death toll to 40.


The patients were both women in their 90s from Cass County with underlying health conditions.


Out of 1,113 individuals tested for the novel coronavirus yesterday, 76 tested positive. The positive percentage rate has risen above 6% for the second day in a row--today’s rate is 6.8%. 1,647 people have tested positive overall.


Two more individuals have passed away with COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the statewide death toll to 38.

The patients were both from Cass County. One was a woman in her 100s, and the other was a woman in her 70s. Both had underlying health conditions.

53 new individuals also tested positive for the novel coronavirus, from a pool of 818 people tested. 44 of the positive cases were from Cass County, with five from Grand Forks County. Burleigh, Stutsman, Ward and Williams Counties all report one new case. The new statewide positive total is 1,517.

Gov. Doug Burgum said he has a goal to have all of North Dakota’s nursing homes test for the coronavirus by May 15.

But there’s a hitch: Three North Dakota facilities, two in Minot and one in Fargo, have apparently refused tests.

Burgum said he was told about that just before he did his Monday briefing with Capitol reporters. He said he doesn’t know what facilities, and why they’re refusing tests.

"I'll have to dig in a little bit more about that," Burgum said. "I'll see if there is some concern about methodology or approach, or who is doing the tests.