(Bismarck, ND) -- Governor Doug Burgum announced today that North Dakota's statewide mask requirement will be allowed to expire Monday, Jan. 18. And an executive order that limits capacity for bars, restaurants and event venues also will be modified Monday, rendering capacity limits and other mandates to the recommended catergory. The statewide risk level will remain at moderate, or yellow. Burgum stressed that cities and counties will continue to be allowed to set their own mask requirements in place. At his press conference Friday, Burgum said “our case numbers and hospital capacity have improved dramatically in North Dakota over the past two months, and with three new tools we didn’t have last fall – vaccines, rapid tests and effective therapeutics – we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Burgum said. “However, this fight isn’t over, and we need all North Dakotans to continue to exercise personal responsibility, follow protocols and keep wearing masks where physical distancing isn’t possible. The day will come when we can take off our masks and discard them with confidence, but only if we do what’s needed now to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe.”