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North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum to allow statewide mask mandate to expire Jan. 18

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FILE – In this April 10, 2020, file photo, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. Lawmakers convene Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 either in person wearing masks or remotely for North Dakota’s 67th legislative session, where they will face tough spending choices amid a pandemic that’s hit a state economy already reeling from depressed oil and agriculture prices. The Republican governor is set to talk about the coronavirus’ impact on the state and other pandemic-induced challenges, including to the state’s budget.(Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

Gov. Doug Burgum will allow State Health Officer Dirk Wilke’s statewide mask mandate to expire Monday, Jan. 18, he announced at his Friday press conference.

Burgum said the decision was due to active cases dropping by over 80 percent from 10,224 to 1,675; hospitalizations due to COVID-19 decreasing by nearly 74 percent; and the state’s 14-day test positivity rate down to 4.13 percent, its lowest level since late August.

The executive order that limits the capacity for bars, restaurants and event venues will also be changed, and, effective Jan. 18, moves capacity limits to recommendations.

Burgum said that cities and counties may continue to have mask requirements in place and that the state supports those locally enacted protocols.

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