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North Dakota coronavirus news, Nov. 18: Sanford updates emergency room visitation

North Dakota coronavirus news, Nov. 18: Sanford updates emergency room visitation

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Coronavirus need to know

The latest North Dakota coronavirus news: Sanford visitation, DSU, testing and more.

Sanford visitation

Sanford Health Bismarck is updating the visitor policy for the Sanford Emergency & Trauma Center in response to rising COVID-19 cases. 

Effective Thursday, visitors will no longer be allowed in the emergency room with the following exceptions:

  • One parent or guardian is allowed for minor patients.
  • For patients with special needs, one essential caregiver is allowed at the discretion of management.  

Visitor restrictions in Sanford’s hospital and clinics are not changing.

Dickinson State University

Dickinson State University is shifting to primarily remote operations for the final three weeks of the fall semester. Officials cite the level of COVID-19 community spread in Stark County, which had 318 active cases on Wednesday, and recent orders from Interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke and Gov. Doug Burgum.

A statewide mask mandate took effect over the weekend, and capacity limitations for bars and restaurants, along with various event venues, went into place Monday. The measures are in place through Dec. 13, along with an order suspending K-12 and community sports and extracurricular activities.

The DSU President’s Cabinet met Monday and adopted the measures. It also implemented a plan for “high community spread.” Most classes will move to remote delivery beginning this coming Monday. The school plans to return to in-person operations for the spring semester, which begins Jan. 11.

“As we promised our students at the beginning of this unusual semester, we maintained in-person, face-to-face operations for as long as possible,” DSU President Steve Easton said in a statement. 

Upcoming testing

DSU in conjunction with Southwestern District Health Unit will host a free community COVID-19 testing event Thursday, in the lead-up to Thanksgiving. The testing is from 8-11 a.m. in the Student Center Ballroom on campus.

“By testing Nov. 19, individuals should have time to make informed decisions about their holiday plans, to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” Easton said.

Free testing events also are planned following the holiday in Dickinson, at the old True Value/Whiting building north of Runnings, at 528 21st St. W. The schedule is:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 8-11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 2 from 8-11 a.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 3 from 7-10 a.m.

People are asked to preregister at https://testreg.nd.gov.

In Bismarck, the state Department of Health is conducting COVID-19 testing at the Event Center from 3-8 p.m. on Thursday.

The public health units in Kidder and Emmons counties have altered their weekly Thursday testing due to the onset of cold weather.

In Kidder County, call 701-475-2582 to schedule an appointment. In Emmons County, asymptomatic people should call 701-254-4027, and people with symptoms should call 701-254-4531.

Testing is available in Hazen at the Sakakawea Medical Center Ambulance Bay on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

North Dakota virus numbers

North Dakota has had 67,230 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 10,334 in Burleigh County and 3,508 in Morton County. There have been 56,468 recoveries and 785 coronavirus-related deaths. A total of 2,307 people have been hospitalized; 297 remain so. State and private labs have processed tests on 328,910 people, and conducted 1,033,592 total tests.

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