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Death toll reaches three in ND

Groups across the state called on the governor on Monday to suspend foreclosures and evictions during the coronavirus pandemic, but Gov. Doug Burgum said he wants to hold off for the time being. Many North Dakotans will be eligible for additional help such as increased unemployment payments and the $1,200 per individual and $500 per child stimulus checks that are to be distributed to individuals making under $75,000 per year under the aid package just passed by Congress. Reduced checks will be sent out to individuals making up to $99,000 per year, based on their income levels.

Burgum said at his daily briefing on Monday that the state Industrial Commission also has already taken some action that should protect people in low-income housing that is funded through the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.

He said people across the state are obviously concerned about the issue and his office has heard from many people on the topic, but the most vulnerable people may well already have been cared for.

Unemployment claims continue to soar across the state, reaching 20,916 claims over the past 12 days, more than were filed in all of last year.

Both the state and the federal government are taking action to aid workers that have been laid off and employers.

More information is available on the governor’s website and on the websites of North Dakota’s congressional delegation.

Burgum also signed an executive order allowing some school districts in the state to reopen to provide child care for elementary age children of essential workers, though all schools must remain closed for academic purposes. Some 100 school districts have had their plans approved to offer education via alternative means beginning this week. The plans of another 75 school districts are currently still being reviewed, Burgum said.

Burgum also reiterated the need for people to maintain social distancing and practice good hygiene to slow down the spread of the virus.

Two more people have died of the new coronavirus in North Dakota, bringing the total of fatalities to three, the North Dakota Health Department announced on Monday. A woman in her 80s from McHenry County and a man in his 70s from Morton County both died of the disease. A man in his 90s from Cass County had died last week.

There are now 109 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, but likely many more that have not been accounted for. Nineteen people have been hospitalized.

Last Friday Trinity Hospital in Minot announced that 40 staff members at Trinity have been asked to self-quarantine themselves for two weeks because they might have come into contact with a patient who tested positive for coronavirus at the hospital. The patient had been transferred to Trinity from another care facility and developed symptoms of the virus while at Trinity. According to a press release from Trinity, the risk to most of the staff members of developing the virus has been deemed low for most of them. Three people with coronavirus had been treated at the hospital as of last Friday; one had been successfully treated and discharged.

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