Governor Doug Burgum makes a historic announcement Sunday night closing schools statewide. Burgum says schools will be closed this week in North Dakota, for five days. Schools public and private will be closed by executive order March 16-March 20. A decision at the end of the week will be made as well.
The Governor says there is still only one positive case in the state. Another 11 cases in the state came back negative on Sunday, which makes 111 negative tests so far. He says with the lack of testing there is presumed or cases but they can’t say how many.
North Dakota has 175 school districts and more than 110,000 students according to Governor Burgum.
The Governor says over the weekend they’ve been trying to figure out the number of ventilators statewide and how many they could get their hands on if needed.
Burgum says we still need to operate with facts, not fear. The reduced rate of infection is the goal for the school closings this week in North Dakota. Burgum says don’t congregate in groups over 50. He says it’s about personal responsibility to use social distancing.
Approval for 2 of 4 waivers have been approved by the Department of Agriculture to help feed students. School Administration will go to schools Monday and Tuesday to help plan for the closure.
Kirsten Baesler, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction urges people to talk to kids and young adults about coronavirus, and ease their fears.
North Dakota already has a healthcare worker shortage, the state is down about 1,000 nurses according to Burgum. He says this week the state hopes to receive a lot of new data to help make better decisions.
Governor Burgum says they’re working to make sure the people who need tests can get them.
Governor Burgum says the recommendations do not apply for daycares. He says that is a local decision.
Governor Burgum says most schools will not need to make up days from this week’s closures. Schools now work under minutes instead of days, and so most schools have banked enough minutes to not have issues this week. There is a possibility for waivers.
New CDC guidance out today recommends groups no larger than 50.