• August 26 Press Conference Summary

    August 26 Press Conference Summary

    Current COVID-19 Case Numbers in North Dakota: 10,467 total positive cases, 1,784 active confirmed cases, 8,545 recovered, 138 deaths
    Speakers: Governor Burgum, Michelle Kommer-Commerce Commissioner

    Focus: Current goals and priorities

    • Protecting the most vulnerable among us,
    • Ensuring adequate healthcare capacity,
    • Saving lives and livelihood
    Additional points of note:
    • Testing
      • 56% of the people who have tested positive were asymptomatic at the time of testing 5,858 (asymptomatic) out of 10,467 (total positives) – so use masks to prevent the spread when you cannot socially distance
      • About 1 in 4 North Dakotans have had a COVID-19 test
    • Active Cases
      • Preference is to keep the entire state at the same risk level, but there is a possibility that certain counties may have their risk level raised, based on the numbers/percentages of positive cases in different counties varying so greatly
      • North Dakota does not want to enforce a mask mandate if it can avoid that. 
      • 3.7% 14-day rolling average which is a slight uptick in positivity rate. Still among the lowest states in the nation
        • If we get to a state rate of 5%, that may trigger travel advisories for ND residents to not be able to travel to other states with rules about that.
      • 51 of 53 ND counties have an active case. Towner and Slope are the two without an active case.
      • ND Dept of Health has reported 21 positive cases that are linked to the Sturgis motorcycle rally.
    • Unemployment
      • Lost Wages Assistance Program
      • There are an estimated 22,000 jobs available in North Dakota today
      • $730 million in unemployment has been paid to 81,000 people.
    • ERG
      • Administered by the Department of Commerce
      • Is available to private companies operating in North Dakota for costs associated with improvements to their businesses for the purpose of reducing the spread of infection and instilling consumer confidence in the marketplace. 
      • $2.85 million in applications from 137 businesses
      • Businesses in 52 of 53 counties have applied
      • Provided examples of some of the approved applications and reasons that applications have been denied.
      • Application Window open until Aug 28
    • ND DOT has expanded its call center to handle over 1,000 calls per day due to a partnership with a ND call center.
    Other issues covered: Update on Care19 Diary and Care19 Alert and encouraged people to download both, please complete the Census – the data is used to distribute funds to states, Behavioral Health resource

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