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Grand Forks County issues new ‘Pandemic Mitigation Order’ with class b misdemeanor penalty

State News

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state, Grand Forks County residents are now required to wear a face mask in all public places where social distancing cannot be maintained or possibly face a class b misdemeanor, after a new “Pandemic Mitigation Order” was signed on Friday by Grand Forks County Health Officer Dr. Joel Walz.

The new order goes into effect on Saturday and says any person who violates any provision of the order is guilty of a class B misdemeanor, pursuant to North Dakota Century Code§ 23-35-13.

A class b misdemeanor in the state means a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail, a fine of $1,500, or both, may be imposed.

The health officer listed multiple exemptions, such as children under 10 years old; persons whose health, medical condition, disability or safety is put at risk by wearing a face covering; persons engaged in religious worship activities, but the face covering may only be removed for the limited purpose of communion, baptism, or other religious practice in which a face covering may impede that person’s ability to partake in the religious practice; and more.

The health officer also said the new order remains in effect until the emergency declaration issued by the Grand Forks County Commission on March 17, 2020, is terminated or the new order is rescinded.

To view the full order, CLICK HERE.

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