BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Doug Burgum said Monday he will make a decision this week whether to extend an order to keep most businesses closed in an effort to contain the coronavirus as cases continue to grow in North Dakota.
Burgum has ordered all bars, restaurants, barber shops, beauty salons, health clubs, movie theaters and other large-scale venues to close to patrons at least until April 20, while still allowing offsite food and beverage service. He is also keeping K-12 schools closed until further notice.
Burgum said he would decide Wednesday whether to extend the order.
“I wouldn’t shade it one way or another right now,” Burgum said during his daily briefing.
But, he said, “I haven’t seen anything yet we’re behind it.”
Burgum announced Monday that a ninth person had died from COVID-19 in North Dakota, a Morton County man in his 80s who had underlying health conditions.
Health officials said Monday 23 additional people tested positive for COVID-19 since Sunday, bringing the state total to 331.
Officials said 431 people have been screened since Sunday bringing the total tested in North Dakota to 10,781. They said 10,450 of those tests have come back negative.
There were 40 coronavirus patients who were hospitalized on Monday, up one since the day before.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
President Donald Trump asserted Monday that he is the ultimate decision-maker for determining how and when to reopen the coronavirus-stricken country, though it is unclear what authority he has to overrule the states.
Burgum, a Republican and an ardent Trump supporter, said he believed the president would make any determination with input from governors.
“I think the White House certainly understands and their advisers understand that the curves are going to vary across different parts of the county and so there is not going to be a one-size-fits-all size fits all in terms of when the nation opens up again. It’s going to have to vary by region just as it varied by closures.”
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