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Burgum considering raising threat level

Governor Burgum said he is contemplating increasing the threat level next week. North Dakota as...
Governor Burgum said he is contemplating increasing the threat level next week. North Dakota as a whole has been in the green or low risk for months now.(KFYR)
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 8:24 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Gov. Doug Burgum said he is contemplating increasing the threat level next week. North Dakota as a whole has been in the green or low risk for months now.

That had been a point of contention amongst health agencies and the task forces. The Governor said with the numbers we have been seeing lately, there was justification to have the discussion.

“We feel good about where we are, but we don’t like necessarily the direction we’re going, so we want to again encourage North Dakotans not to be complacent right now. This is the time for us to be proactive because we have an opportunity to get everybody back to school, keep our businesses open, and keep everything going,” said Burgum.

Burgum said that he wanted to avoid any statewide decisions.

So, he will be talking with local and county health authorities from county is that our hotspots.

The decision would likely be one to increase the threat level for individual counties, because the difference between them was so extreme.

“In Burleigh-Morton, 500 cases, and I could name 5 other counties together that don’t have five cases. To the degree that we might be considered to be sort of economically penalizing businesses with guidelines to cause them to restrict their business, when there isn’t really a risk of community spread in their communities, or very limited risk. Then again, we’re trying to be thoughtful about balancing all of these different objectives,” said Burgum.

If the threat levels do increase, they would only be guidelines, rather than mandates.

Burgum said it would be difficult to enforce increased mandates.

The upward trend in numbers is nothing new, and the governor said there wasn't a tipping point. However he did focus on the timing of it being school restart season.

This all came the same week schools and universities are returning to classes.

It’s too soon to say if the increase in numbers are school related, but Burgum said what they are seeing on campus is something they anticipated.

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