Four North Dakota counties remain COVID-19-free

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 4:13 PM CDT
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Four North Dakota counties have yet to report a case of the coronavirus: Towner, Logan, Golden Valley and Adams county are all coronavirus-free.

Nine other counties have reported just one case.

So what's their secret?

Residents said they've taken the virus seriously and done what they can to keep themselves and their neighbors healthy.

The lunch crowd is slowly coming back to the Peacock Mercantile on Hettinger's Main Street. Beth Thorngren was here for a long-awaited lunch date with a friend. They are cautious, taking steps to keep themselves, and others, healthy.

"We come at an odd time so it isn't packed and we stay to ourselves," said Thorngren, who lives on a farm near Hettinger.

She says it is the least she can do to keep her friends and neighbors safe. That is something that just comes natural to those in this small town.

"In a small town you want to protect your neighbor and do what you can to prevent the spread," said The Peacock Mercantile owner, Pam Burch.

That's the message the staff at West River Health Services has been sharing for months. They have been testing for the virus; as many as 400 of the 1,200 people who live in Adams County have been tested. So far all tests have been negative.

"I think we'd be naive to think we are COVID-19 free," said West River Health Services CEO, Matt Shahan, "It's probably in the community but the community has done a good job of managing symptoms and quarantining themselves when needed."

In bordering Hettinger County, there has been just one case of coronavirus, reported just last week.

"Clean living and we followed the guidelines set forth by the governor," said Mott Mayor, Troy Mosbrucker, which is also the Hettinger County seat.

Morning coffee is making a small comeback.

"We had so much to talk about!" said Mott resident, Connie Haberstroh, who is happy to be back having coffee with her friend Alice Steiner.

"We missed each other terribly," added Steiner.

News of a positive case here doesn't mean an end to coffee time. It simply means, they won't let their guard down.

"We do our distancing here," said Steiner, pointing to empty tables at the C-Store in Mott. "That table is not used and they are sitting over there."

Small precautions that have kept these small communities safe and healthy even during this pandemic.