Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in North Dakota, US, extend orders requiring nonessential businesses to close, visitors to quarantine through at least April 30.

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 16 Apr 2020 18:01 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): North Dakota (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 30
  • Impact: Significant business, travel, and transport disruptions

Summary
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum extended orders requiring nonessential businesses to close through at least April 30 as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The order, which was originally set to expire April 20, stipulates that nonessential businesses, including bars, cafes, athletic and entertainment venues, and hair salons, as well as certain government offices, are to remain closed. Restaurants may only offer delivery and pickup services.

Officials continue to require all travelers, including residents, entering the state from abroad or from any other state in the US to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entering North Dakota. The order does not apply to workers in essential fields, such as healthcare and emergency services.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measures. Officials could amend the order in short notice, depending on 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 - Order Extending Business Restrictions: www.governor.nd.gov

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

North Dakota - Travel Quarantine Orders: www.health.nd.gov