COVID-19

ND Dept. of Health officials say it’s too soon to sound alarm on Omicron

BISMARCK, N.D. (KVRR) – The North Dakota Department of Health says it has not issued a state of emergency for the Omicron Covid-19 variant now that it has been detected in California. They traveled to South Africa on November 22nd and tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday. “It’s too soon to know exactly how this is going to behave,…

First US case of COVID-19 omicron variant identified

Omicron variant (World Health Org.)WASHINGTON (AP) – A person in California has become the first  in the U.S. to have an identified case of the omicron variant of COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci said the person was a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29. The person was vaccinated but had not received…

Fargo City Commission votes down mask requirement for most city workers

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – The Fargo City Commission votes to end its mask requirement for city employees except for public health, transit and library departments on Dec. 1. The motion also says any department head has the opportunity to require their workers to mask up. The only commissioner to vote no was Dave Piepkorn. Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney brought the…

NDSU employees required to get vaccinated for COVID

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – North Dakota State University announces all employees must be vaccinated for Covid-19 or undergo testing to comply with an executive order from President Biden. It requires federal contractors to be fully vaccinated, which university officials say it is. NDSU workers need to get two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson…

CDC expands COVID-19 booster recommendations

WASHINGTON (KVRR) –  The CDC is strengthening its recommendation on booster doses for people 18 and older. On Monday, the agency said everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot.  The boosters should be given 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their initial J&J vaccine. “The recent emergence of the Omicron…

Biden vaccine mandate for health workers blocked in 10 states

Preliminary injunction applies to Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A federal judge on Monday blocked President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate on thousands of health care workers in 10 states that had brought the first legal challenge against the requirement. The court order said that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid had no clear authority from Congress to enact the…

U.S. bans travel from South Africa due to COVID-19 variant

Omicron variant (World Health Org.)WASHINGTON  – Beginning Monday, the United States will ban travel from South Africa and 7 other African nations by non-US citizens following the discovery of a COVID-19 variant. Officials have named the variant “omicron.” A World Health Organization panel has classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern. The variant’s discovery in southern Africa sent…

FDA questions safety of COVID-19 pill during pregnancy

WASHINGTON – Federal health regulators say an experimental COVID-19 pill from Merck is effective against the virus, but they will seek input from outside experts on risks of birth defects and other potential problems in pregnant women. The Food and Drug Administration posted its analysis of the pill ahead of a public meeting next week where academic and other experts…

North Dakota income drops during pandemic

BISMARCK, N.D. – Reported income by all North Dakota residents and the number of filers dropped last year largely due to the coronavirus pandemic. State Tax Department data show the reported gross income by North Dakotans dropped by 8.4 % in 2020, while the number of filers dropped by more than 18,000 from the year before. Tax Department records show…

Economy already better than before pandemic Bank of America CEO says at NDSU

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – During a conversation at North Dakota State University, Bank of America’s CEO sees a bright future for our country’s economy. Brian Moynihan said during Senator Kevin Cramer’s speaker series “The Bully Pulpit” at Richard H. Barry Hall the economy is the size it was before the pandemic. He added Bank of America’s experts estimate it to…