Disaster Declared And Businesses Will Remain Closed (For Now)
KFYR-TV has the breakdown of yesterday's press conference. Governor Doug Burgum announced that President Trump approved the request for disaster declaration. The governor also said businesses will be closed until at least April 20th. Get the full story below.
BISMARCK, N.D. - President Donald Trump approved Gov. Doug Burgum’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration on Wednesday. Burgum sent the request on Saturday so that North Dakota can access federal aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, federal dollars are on their way in thanks to the CARES Act, but state dollars are on their way out due to oncoming bankruptcies. Burgum said budget forecasting has to be harder than the Great Depression.
With Whiting Petroleum announcing their bankruptcy, the governor said that it's likely not going to be the last one and will have lasting impacts on state budgets. However, he did say that this could be a reasonable approach for many companies who want to have a way of getting back into North Dakota stronger than ever, but it's not just companies and employees that are being affected.
“The energy industry is a very interconnected place. And when dominos start falling, they generally don’t fall alone. They hit other people on the way down,” Burgum said.
The State will also be changing their regular reporting schedule for COVID-19 cases. Normally the Department of Health releases numbers twice a day: once in the morning and once during the governor's daily briefings. That is going to change. Now, they're only be one update at 11:00 a.m. on the numbers found in North Dakota.
That’s not the only way reports of coronavirus are being changed.
First responders will receive a database of those who are found to have coronavirus. If someone calls 911 and the database says that that home has coronavirus in it or there is a positive case found, they will be notified so that they could be properly protected. Names will not be used and none of the addresses will be publicly available.
“We want to make sure that they’re protected, and we want to make sure that if need be, if they’re entering into a location that had a likelihood of a COVID positive resident, that they would have a chance to know that so they would have a chance to put on personal protective equipment,” Burgum said.
We remember the executive order that shut down the dining areas of bars and restaurants, and was later added to have personal care services, places like hair salons as well as movie theaters and other large public venues. Those closures are being extended. They will be closed until April 20. The governor said that he will make a decision on April 15 and whether or not to extended that deadline, but for now April 20 is how long those places will continue to be closed.