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Governor Doug Burgum Press Conference: March 18

Coronavirus

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum says two new additional cases of COVID-19 have been found today, March 18. They are both community spread. Both are Morton County cases. 367 total people have been tested. One of the Morton County cases is a woman in her 30’s the other is a female girl aged 10-19.

116,000 people over 15% of the population are 65 or older according to Governor Burgum to give people the scope of the vulnerable age range in the state. The mortality rate escalates with age, or with underlying conditions such as respiratory illness or diabetes.

The 80% of those who are not vulnerable will help stop the spread for those that fall into the category of vulnerable according to Burgum.

Governor Doug Burgum strongly recommends movie theaters, bars, restaurants and gyms to close. He says he is not issuing a mandatory closure at this time. He says that’s up to local Mayor’s.

Burgum says it all depends on the size of the gathering space. He says if there’s a broadening of community spread or people aren’t following guidelines he will reevaluate business closures. Right now closures are on a day to day basis. We need leadership from every level says Burgum.

“What if I could actually save someone’s life, that’s what I want people to think about,” says Dr. Joan Connell from the Department of Health.

Michelle Kommer with the ND Department of Commerce says there are available resources. She says businesses should start with their local bank, she also says money has been made available by the Small Business Administration, to help small businesses. She stresses it’s first come first serve to help quickly.

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