North Dakota scrambles to speed up virus test notifications

State News

FILE – In this April 10, 2020, file photo, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. Burgum will face Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shelley Lenz in the Nov. 3, general election. (Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Coronavirus cases are rising so fast in North Dakota that it’s taking officials up to three days to notify people after they test positive.

And as a result, the state has also fallen behind on tracing close contacts who might have been exposed.

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum and the North Dakota Department of Health announced late Tuesday they’re shifting 50 National Guard members who had been working in contract tracing to simply notifying people who test positive.

And officials will no longer notify close contacts of people who tested positive; instead, those individuals will be instructed to self-notify their close contacts.

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