While the region, state and country continue the fight against the COVID-19 virus, the mayor of North Dakota’s most populous state is encouraged by recent trends in his city. Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney joined the Need To Know Morning Show Wednesday morning for an update on his city’s fight against COVID-19.
“We are starting to make some impact,” he says. “We are starting to see the curve flatten.”
Among the data showing the flattening curve is the fact that cases in Cass County are sitting in the 200 to 300 range. In addition, hospitalizations are going down, Mahoney says.
According to data available Wednesday afternoon, three staffed ICU beds are available in Fargo—two at the VA Hospital and one at Essentia Health. No ICU staffed beds are available at Sanford. As far as staffed the remaining staffed non-ICU beds in Fargo, two are available at Essentia Health, 17 at Sanford Health and three at the VA Hospital.
After the city and state both initiated measures to help slow the spread, Mahoney says people are wearing masks more often in public and in the stores. The increased compliance will help in the push to not close the economy.
In the health industry, better treatments and therapies are available for COVID-19 positive patients, Mahoney, who is a medical doctor himself, says. In addition, the announcement of a pair of COVID-19 vaccines, which could be available as soon as December, are a “gamechanger for everybody,” he says. As of today, between 20,000 and 40,000 doses of the vaccine will be available in December, with healthcare providers and the most vulnerable among the first to get the vaccine, which is showing an efficacy rate of between 90 and 95 percent, which Mahoney calls “fantastic.”
As of recently, discussions between the Governor’s Office and several mayors statewide ensued regarding the capacity limits in bars. In the state’s guidance, the cap in the “orange” category was 25 percent of the capacity. Mayors and the Governor’s office both discussed this and agreed on a 50 percent capacity limit in restaurants, who are already struggling because of the nearly nine-month-long pandemic.
“We need more people in there,” Mahoney says of restaurants. “We are concerned hospitality is hurting.”
Before increasing capacity, Mahoney says the number of cases of COVID-19 need to plateau more—signaling a leveling off of the deadly virus.