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North Dakota pediatricians praise statewide mask mandate, ask for extension

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Fifty-six pediatricians in North Dakota penned a letter to Gov. Doug Burgum to say the statewide mask mandate is working, and it should be extended at least another two months.

On Nov. 13, interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke signed an order mandating masks in the state. The letter from the pediatricians cited a Carnegie Mellon University survey of Facebook users that said within two weeks of the mandate, mask use increased in North Dakota, from 69.5 percent on Oct. 1 to 89 percent by Nov. 26.

Now, the pediatricians are asking for an extension of the mandate to at least Feb. 13, 2021, to “further reduce the rates of death and disability.”

The full letter is pasted below:

December 2, 2020

Letter to Editor on Extending Mask Mandate:

Mask mandates are working in North Dakota and Governor Burgum should extend the statewide
mandate at least two months until February 13, 2021 or longer.

North Dakota had the greatest COVID outbreak and the highest death rate in the world in October when 64 pediatricians wrote an open letter to the Governor on October 14 requesting a mask mandate. Within 2 weeks enough cities had enacted mask mandates to cover one half of the state’s population and on November 13, the Governor enacted a statewide mandate effective until December 13.

What has happened since then? Mask use has increased in North Dakota according to the Carnegie
Mellon University survey of Facebook users from 69.5% on October 1st to 89% by November 26th. South Dakota has gone without a mask mandate and their most recent 7-day COVID mortality rate is now 33% higher than North Dakota’s.

Active COVID cases in North Dakota have dropped from 11,311 on November 14th to 5,686 on December 1st, a 46.7% decrease! North Dakota’s cumulative death curve has thankfully started to improve after it’s exponential increase in October and November, decreasing 36% since November 24th.

North Dakotans need to remain vigilant and continue to wear masks over the winter months while
immunizations gradually become available. Over 950 of our citizens have died already. Working
together and keeping the statewide mask mandate will help to further reduce the rates of death and

With Gratitude,

Kathy Anderson, MD, FAAP
North Dakota AAP Chapter President

Additionally signed by:

Stephanie Antony, MD, FAAP
Rebecca Bakke, MD
Ashley Benson, DNP, APRN-CNP
Barbara Bentz, MD, FAAP
Carrie Brower-Breitwieser, PhD, BCBA-D
Ann Cadwalader, MD, FAAP
Thomas Carver, DO, FAAP
Melanie Chihak, DO
Jordan Coauette, MF, FACOG
Joan Connell, MD, FAAP
Natalie Dvorak, MD, FAAP
Christina DaSilva, DO, FAAP
Lynae Envik, APRN, CNP
Brennan Forward, MD
Stephanie Hanson, MD
Jaclyn Held, DO, FAAP
Justin Horner, MD
Melissa Horner, MD, FAAP
Caitlin Hemquist, CPNP, SANE-P
James Kappenman, MD
Sunita Kantak, MD, FAAP
Julie Kenien, MD, FAAP
Sarah Stoops, APRN, CPNP-PC
Grant Syverson, MD, FAAP
Stephen Tinguely, MD, FAAP
Chris Tiongson, MD, FAAP
Alex Thompson, MD, FAAP
Kurt Kooyer, MD, FAAP

Parag Kumar, MD, FAAP
Sarah Lien, MD, FAAP
Batoule Majed, MD
Clifford Mauriello, MD
Stephen McDonough, MD, FAAP
Brandon Meyer, MD, FAAP
Sam Milanovich, MD
Jagila Minso, MD, MPH
Carlos Miranda, MD
Vanessa Nelson, MD, FAAP
Tracie Newman, MD, MPH
Amy Oksa, MD, FAAP
Amanda Oney, CPNP
Jonathan Pacella, MS4
Samantha Perleberg, MD
Jennifer Peterson, MD, FAAP
Kristina Rauser-Foltz, MD
Sara Reinke, MD, FAAP
Marc Ricks, MD, FAAP
Melissa Seibel, MD, FAAP
Arveity Setty, MD, FAAP
Patricia Scherrer, MD, FAAP
Lori Sondrol, MD, FAAP
Brenda Thurlow, MD, FAAP
Patricia Watkins, MD, FAAP
Maria Weller, MD, FAAP
Abigail Burkett Vetter, DNP, APRN, CPNP-AC/PC

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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