The latest North Dakota coronavirus news: historic sites opening, school meal programs, rural clinics awarded funds, Sanford visitor restrictions and more.
Historic sites opening
Most state historical sites will open May 23, the North Dakota State Historical Society announced on Wednesday.
The agency will open all interpretive centers except the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site near Cooperstown and the State Museum in Bismarck. The missile site will open June 15.
State historic site hours are:
- Camp Hancock, Bismarck: Grounds are open daily, but buildings are closed.
- Chateau de Mores, Medora: Daily, 8:45 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m. MT. Closed noon-1 p.m. for cleaning.
- Former Governors’ Mansion, Bismarck: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
- Fort Abercrombie, near Fargo: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Fort Buford and Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center, near Williston: Daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Fort Totten, near Devils Lake: Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Pembina State Museum: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site, Cooperstown: Opening June 15: daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse, Jamestown: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Welk Homestead, near Strasburg: Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum, Bismarck: Closed until further notice.
To allow for proper social distancing, sites will operate at reduced capacity. Touchable exhibit components will remain closed, and site tours may be limited for visitor and staff safety. Visitors are asked to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations on social distancing and personal hygiene while visiting state historic sites.
Fort Mandan, center to open
The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan will open on Thursday, the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department announced on Wednesday. The building will be open Tuesday through Sunday until further notice to allow for deep cleaning. Visitors are asked to keep a six-foot distance from others during their visit.
State parks will be opening comfort stations, concession buildings and administration offices by Friday, the department said. Customers should be prepared for limited services and capacity limitations. The department is encouraging visitors to purchase daily and annual permits online before visiting to limit face-to-face interactions.
Bismarck summer meals
Bismarck Public Schools next week will begin offering a free summer lunch program for local kids ages 18 and under on weekdays through June 30. The summer lunch program will take the place of the meal distribution program that began shortly after schools closed in mid-March. Weekend meals will be discontinued after this weekend.
The time and location of the food distribution sites are as follows:
- 11-11:30 a.m. -- Lions Park, Centennial Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, Solheim Elementary, Miller Elementary and Kiwanis Park.
- 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. -- Wachter Middle School, Century High School, Bismarck High, Moses Elementary, Legacy High, Lincoln Elementary and Liberty Elementary School.
- 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. -- Will-Moore, Grimsrud Elementary, Pioneer, Myhre, and Murphy Elementary Schools, and Ministry on the Margins (201 N 24th St, east parking lot).
- 12:30-1 p.m. -- Sunrise Elementary School.
Mandan summer meals
Mandan Public Schools’ last day of serving meals will be Friday. The district will offer free summer lunches for local students ages 18 and under beginning on June 1. The time and location of the food distribution sites are as follows:
- 11-11:30 a.m. -- Mary Stark Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School (Bus Loop).
- 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. -- Custer Elementary School.
- 12-12:30 p.m. – Mandan Middle School (front parking lot).
- 12:30-1:00 p.m. -- Fort Lincoln Elementary School (front parking lot).
People with questions may contact Becky Heinert, Mandan Public Schools' director of nutrition services, at 701-751-6500.
Rural clinics awarded funds
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded more than $2.6 million to 53 rural health clinics in North Dakota, U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, both R-N.D., announced on Wednesday.
The funding was made available under the most recent legislation passed by Congress in response to the coronavirus pandemic and will be used to support COVID-19 testing efforts and expand access to testing in rural communities.
“Rural health clinics play a vital role providing health care to individuals and families across North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “These funds will help provide important resources for these clinics to further testing efforts as the state continues to safely reopen the economy.”
Sanford visitor restrictions changed
Sanford Health has changed its visitor restriction policy to allow one adult visitor with each patient at the health system’s hospitals and clinics, according to information released Wednesday.
At hospitals, one adult visitor will be allowed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. All visitors will be screened according to CDC guidelines and will be expected to wear a cloth or surgical mask at all times. The change does not apply to COVID-19 specific units.
One adult visitor is allowed with each patient for clinic visits and outpatient appointments. The visitor is expected to wear a surgical or cloth mask.
The changes became effective Wednesday.
North Dakota virus numbers
North Dakota has 2,095 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 120 in Burleigh County and 63 in Morton County. There have been 1,302 recoveries and 49 coronavirus-related deaths. A total of 142 people have been hospitalized; 38 remain so. State and private labs have conducted tests on 59,200 people, and conducted 72,003 total tests.
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