North Dakota coronavirus news, May 23: Pandemic slows fundraising for Honor Flight

North Dakota coronavirus news, May 23: Pandemic slows fundraising for Honor Flight

From the North Dakota coronavirus news series
Coronavirus need to know

The latest North Dakota coronavirus news: Fundraising efforts slowed, nursing home funding and more.

Honor Flight impacted

The coronavirus pandemic has delayed a Western North Dakota Honor Flight and is slowing fundraising efforts.

The organization announced three months ago it planned to raise $160,000 to send area veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit veterans memorials.

Since then, about 150 area veterans had applied to the program for 100 spots, said organizer Kathleen Bien. The group prioritizes selecting World War II veterans.

The group arranged the trip for this fall but, like many other events planned before COVID-19, it will be delayed until a later date, Bien said.

Western North Dakota Honor Flight announced Thursday its parent organization, the National Honor Flight Network, decided to suspend all honor flights around the country until Aug. 31. Although that’s roughly when the new local chapter planned to host its honor flight, the group is anticipating an accumulation of honor flights unable to visit the nation’s capital.

“There’s going to be such a backlog of flights that haven’t been able to go this year,” Bien said.

It’s also been difficult for Western North Dakota Honor Flight members to raise funds without being able to meet with potential donors face to face, Bien said. As of Thursday, the group raised 12.5% of its $160,000 goal.

“We’re still out there, we’re still rooting for our veterans, we’re still planning on going when the time allows,” Bien said.

People can make donations at or by mail to Western ND Honor Flight, PO Box 265, Bismarck, ND 58502.

Nursing home funding

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $16.3 million to 59 skilled nursing facilities in North Dakota, U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., announced Friday.

The funding, made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, will support continued efforts to combat the coronavirus disease and help address increased operating expenses and lost revenue.

Elective surgeries resume

CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck announced last week it has resumed nonurgent, elective surgeries and procedures. All primary care and specialty care clinics are open for appointments. Virtual visits are also available.

The hospital had postponed nonurgent procedures on March 25, allowing the facilities to conserve resources and free up staff and beds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonurgent surgical patients are tested for COVID-19 prior to their procedure. Patients wishing to reschedule their elective surgery or procedure can do so by speaking with their provider.

COVID-19 patients are kept isolated for their safety and that of other patients and staff, and for the most effective use of staff and personal protective equipment.

Visitation at CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck remains restricted. In limited circumstances, a healthy adult support person may be present for the following: inpatient day of discharge, minor patients, labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care unit and postpartum infants, end-of-life care, outpatient surgery, emergency department patient who needs assistance.

Patients, and support persons, are asked to wear a mask.

North Dakota virus numbers

North Dakota has 2,365 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 129 in Burleigh County and 64 in Morton County. There have been 1,451 recoveries and 52 coronavirus-related deaths. A total of 150 people have been hospitalized; 39 remain so. State and private labs have conducted tests on 64,148 people, and conducted 80,046 total tests.

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