As ND per capita cases drop, legislature makes pandemic accommodations, bar and restaurant requirements relax
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota is now 48th in the nation for new per capita COVID-19 cases based on data compiled over the weekend by The COVID Tracking Project.
The Project’s research shows roughly 396 new cases per 100,000 people statewide over the past two weeks. One in 482 people tested positive in North Dakota in the past week.
North Dakota previously led the country in per capita cases for many weeks until mid-November, when they also experienced a two-thirds decline in hospitalizations from coronavirus.
This decrease has prompted Governor Doug Burgum to ease restrictions on bars and restaurants beginning Friday, Jan. 8. Restaurants and other similar foodservice venues, which have been operating at 50% capacity, will be allowed to increase to 65%. Event venues will also be able to increase their capacity from 25% to 50%.
The North Dakota Department of Health reported 199 new cases from 3,321 total tests on Monday, for a daily positivity rate of about 6.75%.
93,240 positive tests have been confirmed since the pandemic began. The death toll stands at 1,312.
With the 2021 legislative session beginning on Tuesday, lawmakers have made accommodations for live-streaming and remote technologies to provide the public with an easier way to observe and participate in their government. More than $2.6 million in federal COVID-19 funds have been spent to allow people to watch committee meetings and floor sessions in real time.
Additionally, the public will be able to give testimony remotely instead of making a potentially arduous wintertime trek to the capital.
Those unable to attend virtually will be required to wear proper face masks, the same condition placed on lawmakers.