Eight ND counties upgraded to moderate risk level for Covid-19
BISMARCK, N.D. – As the COVID-19 positivity rate continues to rise in North Dakota, Governor Doug Burgum is making some changes, and requests.
North Dakota now ranks first in the country in the number of new COVID-19 cases per capita in the last two weeks.
“Our active cases and positvity rate have gone up even higher. These increases in actives aren’t due to higher testing, they are due to the increased positivity rate, which means we do have a higher prevalence,” said Governor Burgum.
One change he brought forward was changing the coronavirus guidelines on a county-by-county basis by 5 PM on Friday.
“We’ve had a number of counties escape this from the very beginning.”
13 counties, including Cavalier, Trail and Walsh will be moving to a blue risk level, indicating a very low risk for contracting or spreading COVID-19.
Eight counties, including Grand Forks and Barnes, will be moving to the yellow risk level, an elevated level asking people to maintain social distancing, limit gatherings and clean more frequently in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus.
“These counties account for approximately 2/3 of the current active cases. Right now we’ve got 15% of our counties representing 2/3 of the cases,” said Burgum.
Governor Burgum is also asking college students to stay on campus, even during holidays like Labor Day.
“We do know that we have a lot of cases in our university communities and among university students, and we know the virus can travel quickly when students travel from one community to another.”
Young adults are most likely to be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19.
He also signed in a new executive order allowing substitute teachers to teach classes for more then 10 days.
“Staffing challenges are happening across our schools, especially for licensed teachers who may have to quarantine or isolate. If you’re a substitute teacher, 10 days is the max you have in the classroom right now. So, eliminating this, this seemed a bit like a no brainer right now,” said Burgum.
Governor Burgum says Dr. Paul Mariani will be North Dakota’s new Interim Health beginning September 14th.