BISMARCK, N.D. --- Gov. Doug Burgum declared a state of emergency for North Dakota Friday in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis.
The governor’s executive order activates the State Emergency Operations Plan to assist local and tribal officials and directs all state agencies to provide resources and capabilities, including authorization to activate the North Dakota National Guard.
Burgum and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler also discussed guidance for K-12 schools, which will remain open. School closure recommendations will occur on a case-by-case basis.
The K-12 guidance aligns with recommendations released by the Governor’s Office and NDDoH today for gatherings and public events based on three risk levels, or thresholds:
Low Risk - Threshold 1 means unmitigated or uncontained community transmission of coronavirus is occurring elsewhere, but there may not be evidence of significant community transmission in North Dakota yet. At this level, authorities should consider initiating minimally restrictive, or burdensome, but effective mitigation measures. Additionally, authorities should consider canceling or postponing events where a substantive number of attendees are from high-risk locations or high-risk populations.
Moderate risk - Threshold 2 is defined as evidence that unmitigated or uncontained community transmission of coronavirus is occurring in at least one geographic jurisdiction within the state. At this level, authorities should consider canceling or rescheduling events if located within the area that has community transmission of the disease or if a large number of attendees are anticipated to come from these impacted areas. Consider alternative attendance options such as web-based, televised only or remote attendance.
High Risk - Threshold 3 means there is widespread community transmission of coronavirus within North Dakota. At this level, authorities should cancel or postpone all events that involve the potential for disease transmission and cannot accommodate alternative attendance options.
The North Dakota Department of Health on Wednesday confirmed the state’s first presumptive case of COVID-19 in a Ward County resident in his 60s. The man had traveled out of state where he had contact with a person who has since tested positive for the disease.
State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte said of the 63 people tested, 46 were negative, 16 pending and one positive.
If you have questions or concerns please call the hotline at 1-866-207-2880.