Burgum responds to quick policy change

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 6:44 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - While Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive order to deal with corornavirus remains in place, he has made one adjustment. High school sports practices for the winter season can resume in two weeks.

From implementation to adjustments, it’s been quite a week for COVID-19 policy changes.

But now, many around the state are wondering how often and how quickly these changes will happen going forward.

Nurses are voicing their opposition to an executive order allowing asymptomatic nurses to return to work.

Meanwhile, high school sports were holding their own protest over the executive order. But only one is getting changes made to their favor. And Burgum said making adjustments is just necessary in this process.

“A lot of that feedback is in complete opposition to each other. I’m sure you’ve all seen it. We have a group of people where every day, every decision is either too much or too little, or it’s too soon or it’s too late. And in the middle of that storm, we have to keep a hand on the tiller and we keep driving forward,” Burgum said.

After Friday night’s announcement, the Governor’s Office was flooded with phone calls from parents and lawmakers. While feedback in impacting the decision making, lawmakers say the policy discussions have always been open.

“I have never felt we were being avoided or delayed,” said House Majority Leader Chet Pollert.

Lawmakers set up daily meetings and reached what they call a “great compromise.” But now practices start shortly after the Thanksgiving travel, but they aren’t worried about those transmissible moments.

“The whole idea in the negotiations was to have a 14-day incubation period, and then we start. And with all the other precautions, I’m not concerned,” Senate Majority Speaker Rich Wardner said.

According to Burgum, the point of the delay was to reduce transmissible moments, but lawmakers said kids were going to be hanging out anyway. This is not the first time there’s been an adjustment to a policy shortly after its announcement. In September, then-interim state health officer Dr. Paul Mariani implemented a close contact quarantine order.

The next day, it was rescinded and Mariani resigned.

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