The latest North Dakota coronavirus news: farm aid, drive-thru testing and more.
Farm aid updates
Federal Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin releasing the remaining 20% of payments to producers with approved applications under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
USDA also is extending the application deadline until Sept. 11 and expanding eligible commodities, including all sheep. Previously, only lambs and yearlings were eligible.
The program is providing up to $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Payments are capped at $250,000 per producer. The aid is coming from two funding sources: $9.5 billion through the federal CARES Act economic rescue package to compensate for losses due to price declines, and $6.5 billion through the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to compensate for losses due to market disruptions.
For more information go to farmers.gov/cfap.
Testing this week
Free public drive-thru coronavirus testing events are being held in several communities in the region this week. Remaining events are in Mandan and Steele.
Custer Health is conducting testing on Wednesday at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan, from 1-3 p.m. or until supplies are gone. It's open to people of all ages, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Vehicles should approach from the southeast on Longspur Trail, which is accessible by Redwing Drive and 32nd Avenue Southeast, both off Memorial Highway in Mandan. Vehicles will exit onto 24th Avenue Southeast and travel north.
Kidder County District Health Unit is hosting testing on Thursday at its office in Steele.
The event at 422 2nd Ave. NW is from 2:30-4 p.m., or until testing supplies are gone. It’s open to anyone age 12 and older. People are asked to approach from the west.
Preregistration for both events is available at https://testreg.nd.gov/. It speeds up the process but does not guarantee a test.
North Dakota virus numbers
North Dakota has 7,885 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,244 in Burleigh County and 402 in Morton County. There have been 6,668 recoveries and 118 coronavirus-related deaths. A total of 430 people have been hospitalized; 55 remain so. State and private labs have conducted tests on 171,858 people, and conducted 368,487 total tests.