Gov. Burgum issues mask mandate & capacity requirements
NORTH DAKOTA – Gov. Doug Burgum announces new measure to slow the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
They include a State Health Officer order requiring face coverings to be worn in indoor businesses and public settings and outdoors when physical distancing isn’t possible. The order begins Saturday, Nov. 14 and ends on Dec. 13th. Those exempt from wearing face coverings are children under five-years-old, people with medical or mental health conditions or disability “that makes it unreasonable to wear a mask” and religious services.
Burgum also signed an executive order limiting bars, restaurants and food service businesses to 50 percent capacity that cannot exceed 150 people. Those businesses are closed to in-person customers between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM. Take out, curbside and delivery will be allowed.
Banquet, ballroom and event venues are limited to 25 percent capacity. Physical distancing and masks will be required.
Those requirements go into effect Monday, Nov. 16.
Games and performance events sponsored by the North Dakota High School Activities Association in November may continue under NDHSAA requirements. High school winter sports and extracurricular K-12 school activities are suspended until December 14.
College activities have to follow guidance from the North Dakota University System.
“Our doctors and nurses heroically working on the front lines need our help, and they need it now. Since the beginning, we’ve taken a data-driven approach to our pandemic response, focusing on saving lives and livelihoods. Right now, the data demands a higher level of mitigation efforts to reverse these dangerous trends, to slow the spread of this virus and to avoid the need for economic shutdowns. Our situation has changed, and we must change with it. Tonight, we’re announcing four measures designed to reduce the spread of infections in our communities to protect our most vulnerable and to ensure hospital capacity,” Burgum said.
“I fully support and endorse the orders signed today by Gov. Burgum and the State Health Officer,” said Dr. Joshua Wynne, North Dakota’s chief health strategist and dean of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences. “We as citizens of North Dakota need to act now to limit further spread of the virus and thus prevent our hospital capacity from being threatened. Let’s do these things now so that by Thanksgiving the pandemic situation in North Dakota will be headed in the right direction.”
Those who violate the mask and capacity requirements may be cited, but a release from the state did not say how much or if prison time could come from someone not following the guidance. Burgum urges law enforcement to prioritize education.