November 24, 2020

State releases active COVID numbers by zip code

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

North Dakota cities will now be able to track the number of active COVID-19 cases by zip code following a change in reporting by the North Dakota Health Department.
And Phil Riely, Watford City mayor, says having that information will be a big step forward for the city to make informed decisions.
According to Riely, he was instrumental in working with the North Dakota League of Cities to get the health department to release the localized COVID-19 data.
“I was one of the people who pushed for this information,” states Riely. “We have a very big county and the numbers that the state was giving for McKenzie County didn’t mean a lot to us in Watford City.”
The League of Cities has been providing zip code specific COVID-19 numbers to the state’s cities for the past two weeks. And according to Riely, Watford City has seen its active numbers drop from 90 on Nov. 1, to 73 on Nov. 9.
“We can now say how many people in the 58854 zip code have the virus,” states Riely. “It is a black and white number. And it takes away a lot of the misinformation that people see on social media.”
The North Dakota League of Cities releases the data once each week after it has been compiled by the health department.

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