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Grand Forks mayor orders early bar closing due to virus

State News

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The mayor of Grand Forks has ordered bars to close early due to a spike in coronavirus cases among young adults.

Mayor Brandon Bochenski issued an emergency declaration temporarily modifying closing hours for bars, bars/restaurants and off-sales to 11 p.m. The order took effect Saturday night. Normal bar closing in Grand Forks is 2 a.m.

Bochenski attended a round table discussion in Fargo on Saturday with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, about how to stem the spread of the virus. The mayor said the recent spike has made it necessary to limit mass gatherings of people in close quarters.

“With the exponential increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks among the 20-29 age population, this is a necessary action,” Bochenski said in a statement.

“This is a decision that is being made with the long term health and well-being of our community in mind,” the mayor said. “These high case numbers are alarming and we can’t let this get out of hand.”

Bochenski said his order “will help us slow the spread and get us back.”

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