Governor Burgum: Coronavirus restrictions needed for 6-10 more weeks


NOTE: Governor Burgum talks about his worst-case scenario here.

It could be June before restrictions are lifted in North Dakota, as the fight against Coronavirus continues.

When asked about getting things opened back up in the state, Burgum says it could be six to 10 weeks.

“There are worst-case scenarios that take it out further than that,” he said. “It’s all in how well we do in slowing the spread.”

Burgum says a better picture will happen when things start slowing in New York, where more than 25,000 cases have been reported.

 “When New York starts bending down, we’ll say we might have a glimpse of when it might start happening here,” Burgum said.

In comparison to New York or Italy, where cases have it hard, Burgum says the raw numbers won't be as high, models show. 

"We have to look at the spread rate, as the virus acts the same here as it does there, in terms of how contagious it is," he said. The rate of spread, like areas of New York and Italy, could increase exponentially, if the proper precautions aren't taken. 

As of Wednesday morning, North Dakota has had 39 positive cases, an increase of three from Tuesday. Total tested has increased by almost 200 to 1,773.

“We have to be North Dakota smart, not North Dakota tough,” Burgum said. “If you think you’re not feeling well, don’t go to work. Stay home.”

One of the best ways to stop the spread of Coronavirus, Burgum says, is keeping physical distance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus is spread between “people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).”

Burgum says it’s a two-step approach, in regard to cases and from a medical standpoint.

 “We’re trying to keep the number of cases down, while at the same time we build up the amount of medical capacity we have, particularly intensive care and ventilators,” he said