Fargo, West Fargo leaders back Gov. Burgum’s decision to reopen businesses
They note that much of the power to control the virus still lies in the hands of the public
FARGO & WEST FARGO, N.D. — Gov. Doug Burgum says the state is ready to implement Phase One of the North Dakota Smart Restart plan.
“We anticipate there’ll be some rules applied to this, but we see it as hopeful to start opening up businesses, get our economy moving again,” says Fargo Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney.
West Fargo Commission President Bernie Dardis says it won’t be the norm we once knew.
“The assumption in this is that we’re just going to open back up as business as it was before and I don’t think that that’s the case at all.”
“It’ll be a new normal,” says Mahoney. “I think all of us can adjust to a new normal. We’re wearing masks when we’re out and about, we do social distancing, and how you do that at a restaurant may be a bit different but a lot of us really would like to get a haircut.”
Licensed cosmetologists, including salons and barber shops, will be allowed to reopen Friday, as well as personal care service providers, gyms, bars and restaurants.
Although Dardis anticipates some simply won’t be ready.
“They’re going to have to recall employees and of course, some of the employees are going to be concerned about coming back for their own personal health and safety, which is certainly a legitimate concern,” he says.
While some community members are happy with Burgum’s decision, others are concerned this could be a mistake.
The city leaders have some concerns themselves, including how much the public will follow the guidelines Burgum will unveil tomorrow.
“Some of those restrictions can go up or go back onto restrictions, so I would hope we are able to do it right,” says Mahoney.
Doing it right, they say, means continuing to follow physical distancing guidelines, wearing face masks in public and practicing good hygiene, all the while allowing North Dakota’s economy to reopen.
Burgum has noted those who are working from home are encouraged to continue doing so, and schools will continue to administer distance learning to students.