N.D. reports daily high of COVID-19 deaths, Nurses Association opposes Gov. Burgum

30 new deaths reported, nurses don't back positive asymptomatic colleagues working

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota health officials are reporting 30 new deaths due to complications from the coronavirus, one day after Gov. Doug Burgum announced measures to try to ease stress on the state’s healthcare system.

There have been 101 deaths in Cass County, 99 in Burleigh County, 83 in Ward County and 60 in Morton County. Ward confirmed nine deaths in the last day and Burleigh reported eight fatalities.

It is the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic and increased the total number of fatalities to 674.

Gov. Burgum says healthcare workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 but do not have symptoms should be allowed to stay on the job, as part of an effort to ease the stress both on hospitals and medical personnel trying to keep up with skyrocketing cases. The governor says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been allowing infected workers without symptoms to keep working as long as they take precautionary measures.

The governor says the state is also looking to increase rapid testing of healthcare workers to “keep them in the game.” In addition, leaders from the six major hospitals in the state will meet daily to discuss hospital space and staffing, with the likelihood of shifting nurses and other medical personnel where needed.

The North Dakota Nurses Association says it does not support this move. The association said such a move shouldn’t be part of a long-term strategy, and that other preventive measures such as mandated mask wearing should be done first. Gov. Burgum has declined to issue a statewide mask mandate.

North Dakota’s death count per capita has been steadily rising in recent weeks and stood at 10th in the country in statistics compiled Monday by The COVID Tracking Project.

Categories: Coronavirus, North Dakota News