Grand Forks updates community on region’s COVID-19 fight
Mayor Mike Brown and public health officials held a virtual news conference to discuss future plans
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Grand Forks, but that may change.
“They are in Ward County, Morton County, Burleigh County ad Cass County. We feel that as a population center in North Dakota, it will just be a matter of time before we have cases here in our region,” said Grand Forks Public Health director Debbie Swanson.
In a virtual news conference, Mayor Mike Brown assured his community that he is confident the city can limit the spread in the city if they are able to follow the plans in place that include social distancing and limiting groups outings to ten people or less.
Concerns of the virus undoubtedly put a strain on local businesses in the area and Mayor Brown encourages people to help make this time easier for them.
“Local businesses are stepping up in a huge way by making meals for school age youth that are not in physically in school,” explains Brown. “They have been redacting their business models to accommodate these unique times by shifting to take-out and delivery services. They are part of what makes this place special and I strongly encourage citizens to support them in these difficult times.”
Mayor Brown also urges landlords to be lenient.
“It means not evicting people that are behind on rent,” said Brown. “Being understanding that these are difficult economic times. They’ll get better and there is going to be help available from the federal government in the forthcoming future.”
Altru Health Systems are also doing all they can. Along with curbside testing and a 24/7 COVID-19 hotline, the clinics are taking additional precautionary measures.
“We are limiting visitors to one. This is not an easy decision to make from a health system perspective,” said Altru Director of Primary Care, Dr. Josh Deere. “We understand the importance of including family in all decisions we make with the patients, but for the safety of our patients, the staff and the rest of the community, we think this is another step to mitigate spread.”
Dr. Deere encourages people to utilize Altru’s hotline to avoid flooding Emergency rooms.