Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: As of May 20, officials in North Dakota, US, to maintain certain limitations on businesses. Events with up to 250 attendants allowed.

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 20 May 2020 14:10 GMT and is scheduled to expire 03 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): North Dakota (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business, transport disruptions

Summary
As of May 20, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum is maintaining certain limitations on business operations, as part of the moderate-risk phase in the state's economic recovery plan due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities issued guidelines allowing ballrooms, halls, and entertainment and sports venues to reopen, allowing up to 50 percent of attendants of their maximum capacity, with a limit on 250 people, as long as social distancing measures can be adopted.

Authorities had lifted restrictions on most business since May 1; they must all operate ensuring enhanced sanitation procedures, and social distancing measures:

  • Restaurants and food services, allowing dine-in services at 50 percent capacity; delivery and pickup services preferable
  • Retail Stores
  • Lodging businesses
  • Personal care businesses
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Childcare centers
  • Parks and recreational facilities
  • Movie theaters


In-person lessons in schools were canceled through the end of the academic year; however, starting June 1, schools are allowed to offer summer programs, and other activities. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and those in transport, security, media, and critical manufacturing, may continue operating. All businesses must screen workers for possible symptoms and send home any employee who is ill; limiting the number of persons allowed inside business establishments at any given time; staggering shifts if possible; and encouraging the use of protective face coverings, among other measures. The state government encourages telecommuting and other work-from-home arrangements wherever possible.

Authorities lifted requirements for people entering the state from another part of the US to self-quarantine. However, travelers coming from another country must continue to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Transport and business disruptions are likely. Officials could amend the orders on short notice, depending on disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures will likely accelerate in the coming weeks; however, restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. 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.


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