ND bill would require state health officer to be a practicing, licensed physician

BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota legislature is considering a bill that would require the state’s health officer to be a practicing, licensed physician. The bill, backed by Republicans, comes after a trio of health officers selected by Gov. Doug Burgum quit as the coronavirus pandemic worsened.

Dirk Wilke has been the interim state health officer since September. He has no medical training.

The North Dakota Department of Health confirmed 45 new positive cases on Monday, with a daily positivity rate of about 5.45%. Active cases fell by 28 to 953.

77 additional recoveries were reported, bringing the total number of recoveries to 95,308.

47 people are currently hospitalized, down three from Sunday. Eight of those patients are in the intensive care unit. Roughly 21.25% of staffed beds are available statewide.

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graphic courtesy: ND DOH, via Twitter

The following counties have recorded new positive cases:

  • Cass County (Fargo) – 12 cases
  • Ward County (Minot) – seven cases
  • Burleigh County (Bismarck) – five cases
  • Grand Forks County (Grand Forks) – one case
  • Williams County (Williston) – one case

Three deaths were reported over the weekend (since Jan. 29), leaving the states death toll at 1,422 since the pandemic began.

Rapid COVID-19 testing continues to expand across the state, as multiple new sites are set to open this first week of February.

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graphic courtesy: ND DOH, via Twitter

For more information on free coronavirus testing, visit the North Dakota Department of Health online here.

Categories: Coronavirus, North Dakota News