Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in North Dakota, US, maintain orders requiring nonessential businesses to close, visitors to quarantine through at least April 20.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Fargo, North Dakota
  • Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Williston, North Dakota
  • Minot, North Dakota
  • Dickinson, North Dakota
  • Devils Lake, North Dakota

This alert began 06 Apr 2020 22:07 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): North Dakota (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 20
  • Impact: Movement and travel restrictions, significant business disruptions

Summary
Officials in North Dakota have extended several business and travel restrictions through at least April 20, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities have ordered nonessential businesses, including bars, cafes, athletic and entertainment venues, hair salons, as well as certain government offices, to remain closed until at least April 20. Restaurants may only offer delivery and pickup services.

Officials also require all travelers, including residents, entering the state from abroad and from at least 31 states in the US to self-quarantine for 14 days since the moment they enter North Dakota. The order does not apply to workers in essential areas, including healthcare and emergency services.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will almost certainly deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the order in short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by North Dakota authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

North Dakota - COVID-19 Updates: www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

North Dakota - Travel Quarantine Orders: www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/travel-quarantine-orders