Severity: Warning
Transportatin: Authorities in North Dakota, US, lift travel restrictions as of Sept. 23 due to decreases in coronavirus disease cases.

Alert Begins 23 Sep 2020 08:37 PM UTC
Alert Expires 21 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC


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

As part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), authorities in North Dakota have lifted travel restrictions in order to more closely align with the US' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on Sept. 23. Officials have lifted the state's order requiring those who have traveled abroad to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in North Dakota. Previously, authorities lifted orders requiring anyone arriving from another part of the US to quarantine or self-isolate. Otherwise, the rest of North Dakota's restrictions remain in effect.

North Dakota maintains a system of classifying counties into five risk-levels; critical (red), high (orange), moderate (yellow), low (green), and new normal (blue). As of Sept. 23, no counties are at the critical (red) or high (orange) risk-level.

At the moderate (yellow) level, restaurants and bars may have dine-in service at 50 percent capacity, and event spaces can hold 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 250 people. Retail stores, gyms, fitness centers, personal care services, parks, and recreational facilities may open as long as they follow proper social distancing and hygiene procedures. As of Sept. 23, Barnes, Benson, Burleigh, Cass, Dunn, Emmons, Grand Forks, McKenzie, McLean, Morton, Richland, Sargent, Stark, Stutsman, Ward, and Williams counties are at the moderate (yellow) level.

There are 25 counties on the low (green) level. At this level, dine-in service at restaurants and bars is limited to 75 percent capacity. Events are limited to 500 people, given that proper health criteria are met. Retail stores, gyms, fitness centers, event spaces, and personal care centers may open and must follow proper hygiene and social distancing measures.

At the new normal (blue) level, all retail stores, restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness centers, and event spaces may operate without capacity restrictions and must follow strict hygiene and cleaning standard. As of Sept. 23, Cavalier, Divide, Griggs, LaMoure, McIntosh, Nelson, Pembina, Pierce, Rolette, Traill, Walsh and Wells counties are at the new normal (blue) level.

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; limit the number of persons allowed inside business establishments at any given time; stagger shifts if possible, and encourage the use of facemasks, among other measures. The state government encourages telecommuting and other work-from-home arrangements wherever possible.

Authorities have lifted the requirement for people entering the state from another part of the US to self-quarantine. However, anyone entering the state from another country must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

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

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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