North Dakota leaders and health care professionals got a visit from Washington D.C. today.

Doctor Deborah Birx from the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force was in Fargo. She led a discussion with Governor Burgum and state health officials to address the COVID-19 risk in the state.

Doctor Birx stressed the importance of staying away from mass gatherings and protecting the vulnerable community.

She also talked about mass testing, and how it’s especially important for college students.

“Remember, most university students are not going to know they’re infected. They’re not knowingly transmitting the virus to others,” Dr. Birx added.

Birx suggested if a college student has a positive COVID-19 test, the student should quarantine or isolate at the college, and not go home.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum also spoke at the North Dakota State University Alumni Center, saying slowing the spread of the virus by following the North Dakota Smart Restart guidelines is essential if North Dakotans want schools and businesses to remain open, and for sports to continue.

He added, “Masks aren’t a limit on our freedom, they’re our path toward freedom.”