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KX Conversation: Dr. Stephen McDonough discusses the state’s deadliest month of the pandemic so far

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Dr. Stephen McDonough, a Bismarck pediatrician who’s been licensed in North Dakota for more than 40 years, joined Nov. 24’s KX Conversation to discuss the deadliest month of the pandemic so far in the state — November.

We asked Dr. McDonough why he believes North Dakota is among the worst outbreaks, what he believes a mask mandate months ago could have done for the state, why the death rate is so high and more.

Last week, Dr. McDonough sent a letter to the editor to several newspapers in the state about the risk of attending large holiday gatherings.

Read his full letter below:

Thinking of having a traditional multigenerational Thanksgiving in North Dakota?  According to the Georgia Tech risk calculator, here is your percentage risk of COVID exposure from at least one contagious person if 15 people are gathering in our state:

Cass 67; Richland 66; Sargent 70; Ransom 71; Barnes 87; Griggs 84; Steele 62; Trail 69; Foster 95; Eddy 89;

Grand Forks 83; Nelson 90; Cavalier 82, Pembina 81; Towner 66; Rolette 90; Benson 57; Ramsey 75; Walsh 93;

Ward 87; Renville 68; Bottineau 56; McHenry 72; Pierce 90; Divide 50; Burke 74; Williams 60; Mountrail 79; McKenzie 42, Dunn 37; McLean 62; Wells 54;

Burleigh 75; Morton 76; Oliver 32; Mercer 70; Kidder 60; Stutsman 94; Lamoure 64; Dickey 79; McIntosh 57; Logan 34; Emmons 36; Sioux 72; Grant 60; Hettinger 68; Adams 60; Bowman 30; Slope 25; Golden Valley 41, Dunn 37; Stark 65 and only Billings has a risk of 1 percent which will change as the tracker is updated with Billing’s 3 active cases.

The risks are way too high anywhere in North Dakota.  That is what happens when you live in a state with the greatest COVID-19 outbreak in the world and where you have a state government that just recently discovered the benefits of a statewide mask mandate.

Thinking of a traditional Thanksgiving for 15 with grandparents present and no masks?  Better make sure their wills and advanced directives are up to date and the cemetery plots have been purchased.  Not the traditional Thanksgiving conversation but these are not traditional times.  Be smart, stay home with your immediate family, wear masks when out in public, wash your hands and wash them again and maybe, just maybe, you will be able to see the grandparents at Thanksgiving in 2021.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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