• ​October 8 Press Conference Summary

    ​October 8 Press Conference Summary

    Current COVID-19 Case Numbers in North Dakota: 25,384 total positive cases, 3,832 active confirmed cases, 21,242 recovered, 310 deaths
    Speakers: Governor Burgum, Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, House Majority Leader Chet Pollerty, Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman, House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, Dr. Michael LeBeau-President of Bismarck Region of Sanford Health, Chris Jones Executive Director ND Department of Human Services

    Focus: Test Positivity in the Region compared to in North Dakota

    • ND has a 7.3% positivity rate for testing. Only MN is lower in the North Central Region of the US
      • ND is #3 today in number of tests administered. 
        • We are doing 3-5 times as much testing when compared to neighboring states
      • The goal is to know who is sick so we can help them. 
      • More testing is a good thing.
    • A new $5 test that can be read in 15 minutes will be available here in North Dakota in the next week.
    Additional points of note:
    • Slowing the spread
      • Distancing slows the spread.
      • When distancing is not possible, use masks. This can help us to be individually responsible without government intervention.
      • All speakers encouraged the use of masks, social distancing, avoidance of large gatherings, and practicing of personal responsibility.
      • Statistics available under “State Hospitalizations and Deaths”
    • State legislative actions and decisions
      • Coronavirus Relief Funds $1.25 billion.
        • Breakdown
          • 33% Economic Support of Individuals,
          • 31% for Economic Support for Businesses,
          • 24% for Public Safety,
          • 12% for Continuation of Government Services
      • Legislative leadership
        • Senator Wardner covered fund allocations including upgrading technology so the legislative session can be held safely
        • Senator Heckaman described work to assure K12 education has continued and described some of the obstacles, rural healthcare needs, legislative membership and staff who are working to have a safe and effective session
        • Representative Boschee discussed the need for more flexibility with the spending of the CARES Act funds and the importance of all legislators working together to determine how funds will be spent.
        • Representative Pollert described the process of allocating CARES Act funds and how all the players involved were included in the conversations before decisions were made
    • Health concerns/capacity
      • Dr. LeBeau discussed hospital capacity in North Dakota.
      • It is important to remember that healthcare workers are doing a great job despite the circumstances.
      • Rural hospitals and regional hospitals are working well together.
      • Less than 20% of hospital work is COVID-related – people need to continue taking care of their regular healthcare needs.
      • In response to a question about field hospitals, Dr LeBeau said North Dakota hospitals are working on a surge plan if cases go up.
    • County Risk Levels are available
    Other issues covered: Cybersecurity Awareness Month proclamation – with work and school being done online, there is a higher need for people to be careful about cyber-attacks. 
    Link to VIEW