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Local businesses prepare for state-wide occupancy level to increase

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The COVID risk level is being lowered for the state.

Restaurants and other local businesses have been operating at 65% capacity for quite some time. With this risk-level adjustment, they will now be able to increase their occupancy to 80%.

Stuart Tracy, the owner of Pirogue, says it’s a step in the right direction.

“It’s a positive development for all of us in the hospitality industry. I think in our instances we’ll still maintain the social distancing, and keep our tables spread apart as we go forward,” said Tracy.

Even though the number of active cases has been going down, health officials say we should still wear masks and practice social distancing.

“We don’t want to have to go back to the dire situation that we were back in November and October.
Encouraging people that if they see the green, that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. It still exists, and we still want to be vigilant,” said Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Director, Renae Moch.

Gov. Doug Burgum agreed, encouraging people to continue to practice safety protocols and get vaccinated when it’s available.

According to the state report distributed by the White House, North Dakota ranked lowest among all states for test positivity last week.

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