Close contacts ordered to quarantine, too

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 5:10 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - For the first time in three weeks, Gov. Doug Burgum is changing the risk level for a number of counties. Most of them increasing their level.

While three counties are moved from green to blue, the others are moving up their risk level. Including Cass county, which moved from low to moderate risk.

This comes off of the heels of the school district going with online-only education.

“Everybody’s got the same task, and I think that task should be uniform across the state. Which is we’re trying to save lives and we’re trying to keep the businesses and economy open, and so finding that balance,” Burgum said.

Among the noteworthy parts, the counties not having their threat level changed. Six counties that were in moderate are remaining so. Including Burleigh, Morton, Stark and Williams counties.

Last week, Burgum said Stark and Williams were “of interest” because of their numbers going in the wrong direction.

Even though their positive rates are still around 10% and their active case counts keep going up, Burgum is holding those counties in “moderate.”

“If we moved somebody a week ago, a week isn’t enough to drive the change. The increased rates we’ve seen this week are from what happened prior to us changing the color. And we have a multi-week lag,” Burgum said.

With the increasing case counts and increased risk levels statewide, the Department of Health is increasing the pool of people who need to quarantine.

For some time, if someone had tested positive for COVID-19, they were ordered to stay in their homes for at least 14 days.

Close Contacts are now being added to that list.

Under State Health Officer Orders and under the penalty of a Class B misdemeanor, someone who has close contact with someone who tests positive must also quarantine in their homes for at least 14 days.

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