Task Force memo to Burgum discusses avoiding shopping, urges colleges, tribes to test weekly
BISMARCK, N.D. (KVRR) – Federal health officials are warning that all people over 65, or those with significant health conditions should avoid any indoor public places.
The information is contained in a Nov.29 internal briefing sent to Gov. Doug Burgum from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
“We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity” according to the report.
“It must be made clear that if you are over 65 or have significant health conditions, you should not enter any indoor public spaces
where anyone is unmasked” the briefing says. Those over 65 or with health issues are advised to avoid shopping and have their groceries and medications delivered.
According to the briefing, people under 40 “need to assume you became infected during the Thanksgiving period if you gathered beyond your immediate household.” It advises the state to conduct aggressive impact testing of adults under 40 to rapidly identify those who became infected over Thanksgiving before they spread the virus to more vulnerable people.
There’s also advice for the state’s colleges and universities. The memo recommends that all universities returning in the winter conduct “mandatory weekly testing of all on and off-campus students.” It says “planning for this must begin now.”
Burgum was also told that all Tribal Nations residents and visitors should be tested weekly to ensure rapid isolation of asymptomatic cases.
The report says North Dakota had 947 new cases per 100,000 people, compared to a national average of 349 per 100,000.