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Burgum extends workforce compensation to first responders

Gov. Doug Burgum signed an executive order on Wednesday to extend worker’s compensation benefits to first responders who contract the new coronavirus on the job or have been exposed to the virus and are asked to quarantine themselves at home.

Burgum said the order applies to medical providers, first responders such as paid and volunteer ambulance personnel, firefighters and police officers.

Worker’s compensation normally does not cover viruses.

Burgum said coverage is backdated to March 13.

People can apply for benefits at workforcesafety.com.

Burgum announced at his daily briefing on Wednesday that nine additional cases of coronavirus were identified on Wednesday, bringing the total number of positive cases in the state to 45. Eight of those people have been hospitalized and none have yet been released from the hospital. Burgum said there are now 10 counties in the state with confirmed coronavirus cases and 50 of 53 counties in the state have had people undergo testing.

Burgum again urged people in the state to maintain physical distancing and hygiene to try to slow the spread of the disease. He said the state is still weeks away from reaching the peak number of cases. Authorities in the state are trying to increase testing for the virus and are also exploring options to expand the capacity of the health-care system to handle a large number of people who require intensive care services if it becomes necessary.

Fourth case of COVID-19 in Ward County

The First District Health Unit and North Dakota Department of Health reported on Wednesday evening a fourth case of COVID-19 has been identified in Ward County. The affected individual is in her 80s. The case is currently under investigation.

Everyone should continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing, health officials said.

Additional cancelations

The Dakota Musicians Association has postponed its Hall of Fame induction to have taken place on May 15 in Aberdeen, S.D., until further notice. A new date will be announced in the future.

Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours scheduled for today at the Minot International Airport is canceled.

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