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Burleigh-Morton COVID-19 task force discusses number of positive cases, masks, schools and more

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The Burleigh-Morton task force has now received an update from its five committees.

The testing committee reported the highest number of positives are now in people who are 30 to 39 years old.

From an educational standpoint, they are looking to encourage the use of the new Care19 app in universities and colleges.

One of the main talking points was masks.

“How do we as a business community quote on quote normalize mask-wearing? How do we encourage it? There’s a lot of discussion about how much easier it is said than done at the national level. You know, the Target’s and the Walmart’s of the world, how do we do so at the local small business community level where they may risk losing customers if they’re seen as the odd man out?” shared Brian Ritter, Chair of the Business Community Committee.

The conversation of masks was discussed across the board from schools to businesses to public education and awareness.

Both Bismarck and Mandan public school districts are now requiring masks when social distancing is not possible.

But as cases continue to rise, the task force doesn’t want it to get to a point where they have to mandate masks in public.

“We’re requiring masks in schools. One could think that would eventually become more of a normal aspect to our day and then it will be more acceptable out in the public so that we don’t have to work towards a mask mandate. Obviously, that’s a continued conversation too. But we would like to persuade the communities to follow the lead of the schools and start wearing their mask,” shared Erin Ourada, Chair for the Healthcare, Testing Strategy and Contact Tracing Committee.

The task force has yet to receive the dashboard where they get daily detailed updates on cases.

They are set to get it hopefully in the next week.

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