Governor Burgum says there is no lockdown order being issued at this time. He says we are not shutting the borders, and all afternoon his team has been working to shut down misinformation about that happening. He says he’s working with neighboring states and provinces at this point to work together.
He says he hopes people will use personal responsibility in North Dakota.
Governor Burgum has signed an amended Executive Order, he’s closing licensed cosmetologists, tattoo studios, massage therapists and other personal service industries to close. That goes into effect at midnight on Friday night. The order is through April 6th. Burgum says there’s been a strong push for this. In North Dakota, over 8,500 individuals are licensed for personal care.
Another Executive Order includes help for employers. North Dakota employers get the ability to suspend the payment of their unemployment taxes. This is a deferred payment, which in total is $30 million dollars from businesses across the State. This will allow businesses to pay later if they choose, but some businesses can still pay on time if they prefer.
Governor Burgum says they’re working to expand hospital capacity in North Dakota. He says they currently expect the peak is still 2 to 3 weeks out in North Dakota.
Governor Burgum says small businesses will now be able to apply for forgivable bridge loans through the new Federal bills, Burgum says it will be like getting a grant if the business is able to keep all of their employees.
Governor Burgum says they will look at ways the State Bank of North Dakota can help bridge some gaps for small businesses until they can get the federal loans. Burgum says that will be looked at this weekend by his staff.