On March 21, Governor Burgum says there were only two new cases of COVID-19 as of 4:00 pm. The two new cases were Burleigh County cases. 28 total cases of coronavirus are currently reported in North Dakota. There are three people hospitalized related to COVID-19.
48 of 53 counties have had people tested at the state labs. Governor Burgum says social distancing remains important.
Governor Burgum says testing is being ramped up across the state. He thanks South Dakota who gave the state of North Dakota swabs to keep testing moving.
A new Executive Order was signed by Governor Burgum to help in social distancing. He’s expanded the list of those who can test for COVID-19 to include licensed pharmacists. That will give more places to administer tests.
Another piece of the Executive Order, pharmacists can now refill emergency prescriptions for chronic diseases such as diabetes, licensed pharmacists to give 30-day supply of prescriptions. That does not include opioids and other Class 2 licensed drugs. Proof of delivery on prescriptions is also being dropped so that person to person contact isn’t needed.
Rest areas are expected to open Monday and Tuesday this week. They’ve been closed after vandalism this week.
Dr. Michael LeBeau the President of Sanford and Kurt Schley of the CEO of CHI St. Alexius also spoke today. LeBeau says you must have symptoms to get a test currently, there aren’t enough to supplies to test everyone. It’s important to work together says LeBeau, he says the state is lucky to still have supplies to be testing.
Kurt Schley of CHI St. Alexius says the hospitals prepare for events like this, and all hospitals are following CDC guidance. Schley says updates from around the country are coming in to help prepare staff here in North Dakota. Medical staff and associates are being screened before entering the hospital and buildings according to Schley. All magazines are eliminated at the hospital.
LeBeau says he and the state feel they have enough ventilators. Hospitals are working with the state to make sure there are enough hospital beds and other pieces of equipment they all need. It’s a fluid situation, and people plan and stay calm in healthcare says LeBeau.
“It’s easy to preach and hard to limit,” says LeBeau about social distancing. The accountability of healthcare is important, LeBeau says they have to hold to testing guidelines.
LeBeau also put out a special plea for blood donations. Blood donations are down, and it’s important to not run low.
Schley made a plea to retired healthcare professionals to consider coming back if the need should arise. He said we need to be prepared in case the need should get there, retired healthcare professionals should contact their past employer if they’re interested in helping.
Major General Dohrman said we need a whole of community response. “What can we do to help the effort” is something everyone should be thinking about says Dohrman.