Gov. Burgum Considers Raising COVID-19 Risk Level In Cass & Other Counties
North Dakota has applied to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance program
BISMARCK, N.D. — Some counties in North Dakota could see their COVID-19 risk level go from “Low” to “Moderate” as cases continue to rise.
That would mean the entire state is no longer under the same level.
Gov. Doug Burgum says he is looking at making the change in Cass, Grand Forks, Burleigh-Morton, Ward and Stark, the counties with higher populations.
“Be North Dakota Smart, that’s our path forward that’s the path to freedom right now to keeping everything open the schools open is everybody being smart about not allowing yourself or others to be in a position, this virus can only live when it jumps from human to human host,” said Burgum.
The change could result in reduced capacity in bars and restaurants.
Burgum says it is just a guideline and not a mandate and that it would be hard to enforce.
He also announced that 21 North Dakotans are tied to a COVID-19 outbreak coming from the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.
He encourages people who went to the rally and now have symptoms to quarantine and get tested.
Burgum announced that North Dakota has applied to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance program created by President Donald Trump to ease the economic burden for those who have lost their employment because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, the President authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to spend up to $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund in order to provide an additional $300 to $400 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits through the Lost Wages Assistance program.
Job Service North Dakota submitted the state’s application to FEMA to participate in the program.
Claimants who are eligible for the program will receive an additional $300 federal contribution on top of their existing weekly unemployment benefit payment from the state, which averaged $474 in July – the fourth-highest average payment in the nation.