The latest North Dakota coronavirus news: fishing tournaments, face masks, dental care and more.
Fishing tourneys revoked
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has revoked all fishing tournaments for April and May due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tournament sponsors have been notified of possible rescheduling options under certain conditions, including public safety and open calendar days.
Organizers of other permitted North Dakota fishing tournaments scheduled from June through October have been advised of the possibility of having their permits revoked if the COVID-19 conditions persist.
Face mask guidance
Several public health units in the region are following the new guidance of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and recommending that people wear a cloth face covering while in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
“We want to remind our residents, this new recommendation does not mean you should be using surgical masks or N95 respirators,” Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Administrator Renae Moch said. “We continue to need these specialized medical tools to help ensure the safety of our health care workers and first responders who are on the front lines of this pandemic response.”
Cloth face coverings should not be put on children under the age of 2. People who have trouble breathing or don’t have the ability to remove a mask also should not wear one.
People are reminded not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth when removing a face covering. The coverings should be washed routinely in a washing machine.
For more information about the CDC recommendation for cloth face coverings, go to:
More information about cloth face coverings, including direction on making and wearing them, is available at:
Limited truck services available
The North Dakota Department of Transportation is scheduling limited Motor Vehicle Division large truck services by appointment only.
Appointments are available only for trucks weighing more than 55,000 lbs. and vehicles with registration weight changes.
Bismarck appointments can be scheduled online at www.dot.nd.gov or by calling the department at 701-328-2725 or toll free 1-855-NDROADS (637-6237), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
Motor Vehicle branch offices in Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grafton, Grand Forks, Langdon, Minot and Rugby also will provide limited truck weight services by appointment only. Motor vehicle branch office contact information can be found at www.dot.nd.gov.
Other Motor Vehicle business can be done online or through the mail.
Nonurgent dental care
The North Dakota Dental Association and local dental societies are urging dental offices throughout the state to temporarily postpone nonurgent dental care.
The association said the goal is to safeguard the health of workers and patients. Dentists across the state still will be available for patients who have emergency dental needs.
The association is encouraging dental offices to follow all coronavirus-related recommendations of the American Dental Association, and state and federal authorities.
“We are doing all we can to help limit the chances for community spread of COVID-19 and conserving personal protective equipment,” said Dr. Steven Deisz, association representative.
North Dakota’s outdoors offer recreational opportunities and potential health benefits -- including relief from stress and anxiety -- but people who take advantage of them should still avoid crowds and practice social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, state wildlife officials say.
Anglers at shore-fishing locations have in their hands a good tool for fishing and distancing, Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand said.
“If you can reach out with a fishing rod and touch the person next to you, you’re too close,” Steinwand said. “In other situations, we encourage people to follow the 6-foot separation guideline as well.”
Traffic has been higher than usual recently at the state’s parks and other locations, and Parks and Recreation Interim Director Ryan Gardner said he expects that trend to continue. The parks department’s day-use facilities remain open, and daily passes are available at the iron rangers. All annual passes can be purchased online. The park department’s off-highway vehicle trails are open for the season. Game and Fish Department public areas such as fishing waters and wildlife management areas are open.
The office buildings of both agencies are closed to the public.
Rotary Club meets virtually
The Bismarck Rotary Club has temporarily suspended weekly meetings at the Elks Club. Members are meeting via the Zoom video conferencing service.
"Continuing our weekly meetings virtually provides a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times," member Christine Kujawa said. "Club members have become good friends over the years, and it's so nice to be able to connect with them online."
This year marks the club's 100th anniversary. The club funds local projects, sponsors volunteers and provides college scholarships.
North Dakota virus numbers
North Dakota has 225 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 38 in Burleigh County and 17 in Morton County. There have been 32 hospitalizations statewide, 74 recoveries and three deaths. Nineteen people are currently hospitalized. State and private labs have conducted 7,213 tests, with 6,988 coming back negative.
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