North Dakota mandates masks, limits indoor gatherings as COVID-19 surges

North Dakota mandates masks, limits indoor gatherings as COVID-19 surges


After months of resisting strict measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, North Dakota officials reversed course and issued a mandate for mask-wearing and other restrictions.

The state health order requires face coverings be worn through Dec. 13 in indoor businesses and other public settings, as well as outdoor public settings where physical distancing isn’t possible. It includes exceptions for children under age 5, individuals with a medical or mental health condition or disability that makes it unreasonable to wear a mask, and religious services.

“Our situation has changed, and we must change with it,” Gov. Doug Burgum said late Friday. “Tonight, we’re announcing four measures designed to reduce the spread of infections in our communities to protect our most vulnerable and to ensure hospital capacity.”

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With more than 60,600 cases, including 1,429 new cases on Friday, North Dakota saw a more than 17% rise in cases in the past seven days, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

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