North Dakota Governor will lift COVID-19 emergency declaration April 30

BISMARCK, N.D. — Gov. Doug Burgum says he will lift North Dakota’s COVID-19 emergency declaration at the end of the month as the state shifts focus to increasing vaccination rates.

Burgum issued the order on March 13, 2020 – the same day then-President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and two days after North Dakota confirmed its first case of the coronavirus.

“Lifting this emergency declaration on April 30 recognizes the tremendous progress our state has made in protecting the most vulnerable, preserving hospital capacity and making safe, effective vaccines available to every eligible North Dakotan,” Burgum said.

North Dakota currently has no enforced business or event protocols related to COVID-19, though some local measures or orders may still be in place. The statewide mask mandate, which went into effect November 18, was lifted January 18. Its 65-day duration was the shortest among states that implemented such requirements.

As of mid-April, more than 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have bene administered across North Dakota, with more than 60% of residents 50 years and older having received at least one dose. Burgum says vaccination efforts will remain the states top priority as “another wave of COVID-19 continues to spread across the country and world.”

“While the emergency declaration is ending, the virus is still present in our communities,” Interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke said. “We encourage North Dakotans to keep using the tools that got us here: physical distancing, wearing a mask when you can’t distance, getting tested and vaccinated.”

Lifting the emergency declaration on April 30 will eliminate the last of the pandemic-related executive orders. Several Republican lawmakers, upset with Burgum’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, introduced legislation in January 2021 to limit the governor’s ability to issue such orders. Burgum filed roughly 45 executive orders in 2020 in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Janne Myrdal of Edinburg, said that a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t always work. The governor said he would continue to work with state legislators to “find the right balance for North Dakota.”

Categories: Coronavirus, North Dakota News