North Dakota coronavirus news, March 31: Insurance bulletins issued

North Dakota coronavirus news, March 31: Insurance bulletins issued

From the North Dakota coronavirus news series
Coronavirus need to know

The latest North Dakota coronavirus news: insurance bulletins, downtown parking, Blind Joe and more.

Insurance bulletins issued

State Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread has issued seven bulletins in response to executive orders made by Gov. Doug Burgum during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Over the past 20 days, the Insurance Department has been working to provide clarity and consistency to consumers, agents and companies with how North Dakota is addressing this public health crisis,” Godfread said. “Issuing such a large number of bulletins and interfering with the way North Dakota insurance producers and companies conduct business isn’t a responsibility that I take lightly; however, there were issues that needed to be addressed quickly during this critical time.”

For example, one bulletin asks health insurance carriers to remove barriers to testing and treatment for COVID-19. Another encourages auto insurance carriers to extend coverage on personal auto policies for the commercial delivery of food, medicine or other essential goods.

The bulletins are available at:

Downtown parking

The Bismarck Police Department has suspended enforcement of time-zone parking spaces downtown, in an effort to help businesses.

All other parking restrictions remain in place. Police also ask that motorists “continue to use courtesy” when parking downtown.

Separately, the department has postponed this year’s city auction. A new date has not been set.

Court proceedings and documents

The North Dakota Supreme Court is offering guidelines for the public to access court proceedings and documents while physical access to courthouses is closed.

To attend a hearing, contact the clerk of court in the county where the case is filed. Clerk contacts can be found by typing the county name in the search box on the Supreme Court website, or by accessing a complete list in the Court Locations section of the website:

To obtain a copy of a case document, contact the clerk of court in the county where the case is filed, and provide the clerk with the case name, case number, document name and document number. That information can be found by using the District Court Case Search function on the

During the pandemic, all copying fees will be waived. Documents will be emailed to the requestor as time permits. Staff may limit requesters to no more than 10 documents per day and may deny repeated requests from a person for the same document.

Relief fund provides grants

The Northwest North Dakota Community Foundation has awarded $14,000 from its newly established Relief Fund.

The money is going to organizations responding to immediate needs in Williams, Divide, McKenzie and Mountrail counties as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and energy industry pressures.

The foundation established the fund with $10,000. Matching donations boosted it fourfold.

The first grants are $7,500 to a McKenzie County group providing food and supplies to quarantined people or shut-ins, $4,000 to a Meals to Go program in Williston, $1,500 to a weekend food program in Stanley and $1,000 to a Stanley day care for children of hospital and nursing home employees.

Donations can be made online at or by sending a check to: NWNDCF, P.O. Box 371, Williston, N.D. 58802-0371. Donations are tax-deductible.

Blind Joe benefit concert

Country singer “Blind” Joe Bommersbach is holding a concert on Thursday via Facebook Live to benefit the Great Plains Food Bank.

The Fargo-area native grew to prominence as a contestant on the ninth season of NBC’s reality show “The Voice.” His concert will be available on both his Facebook page @theblindjoe and the food bank’s page @NDFoodBank.

Fans can make donations to help the food bank feed the hungry during the coronavirus outbreak.

Great Plains Food Bank is North Dakota’s only food bank. The not-for-profit organization distributes millions of pounds of food each year to hunger-relief efforts in 99 communities across North Dakota and into eastern Minnesota. About half of those communities are in the western two-thirds of North Dakota.

North Dakota virus numbers

North Dakota has 126 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 30 in Burleigh County and 14 in Morton County. There have been 21 hospitalizations statewide, 30 recoveries and three deaths. State and private labs have conducted 4,257 total tests, with 4,131 coming back negative. 

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