Governor issues statewide mask mandate
By Neal A. Shipman
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum issued a statewide mask mandate, as well as imposed capacity limitations on bars and restaurants, and suspended all K-12 winter sports and activities to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Burgum says that the new mandates, which went into effect on Saturday, Nov. 14 and will extend until Sunday, Dec. 13, were enacted to help slow the accelerating spread of COVID-19 in North Dakota in order to protect the vulnerable, ensure hospital capacity and keep schools and the economy open.
Capacity is strained across the state’s health care system, jeopardizing the ability of hospitals to provide the first-rate treatment North Dakotans are accustomed to not only for COVID-19 patients, but also for those seeking care for heart attacks, cancer, trauma and other urgent needs, Burgum noted.
“Our doctors and nurses heroically working on the front lines need our help, and they need it now. Since the beginning, we’ve taken a data-driven approach to our pandemic response, focusing on saving lives and livelihoods. Right now, the data demands a higher level of mitigation efforts to reverse these dangerous trends, to slow the spread of this virus and to avoid the need for economic shutdowns,” Burgum said in a video message late on Nov. 13. “Our situation has changed, and we must change with it. Tonight, we’re announcing four measures designed to reduce the spread of infections in our communities to protect our most vulnerable and to ensure hospital capacity.”