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Letter: Comparing Burleigh, Cass on COVID-19

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A Tale of Two Cities/Counties is instructive.

How have Fargo-Cass and Bismarck-Burleigh fared 1 ½ years into the pandemic? On Sept. 15, 2021, Cass County’s cumulative COVID death rate was 120.9 per 100,000 compared to Burleigh’s 218.6. In other words, if Cass had Burleigh’s rate, 177 more Cass County residents would be dead. If Burleigh had Cass’s rate, 93 more Burleigh residents would be alive.

How are the city-counties doing now during the delta variant pandemic? With 20 residents hospitalized and a 7-day active hospitalization rate per 100,000 of 23.3, Burleigh’s rate is over twice that of Cass County’s of 9.1. Childhood COVID cases in Burleigh County have exploded with a case rate of 152.2 compared to Cass County’s rate of 66.5. Bismarck’s hospitals are so full that children with COVID needing hospitalization are sent somewhere else, far away.

Why is Burleigh’s death rate nearly twice that of Cass’s and why are Burleigh’s residents more than twice as likely to be hospitalized and their children twice as likely to have COVID?

Anti-mask + anti-vax = Death, Disease and Disability = Anti-science and anti-truth.

Masks + Vaccinations = Life and Health = Science and Truth.

Mayo Clinic experts state that the only way out of this mess is immunizations, mask wearing and social distancing. Mayo Clinic’s advice used to be “golden” but now many prefer misinformation.

Fargo was the first North Dakota city to enact a mask mandate last October. Fargo’s School Board was the first to require universal masking this August. The results speak for themselves.

COVID denial is rampant with little mask wearing in Burleigh County and schools have reopened as if there is no pandemic. The results speak for themselves. The chickens have come home to roost.

The communities of Fargo-Cass chose Life and Health. Bismarck-Burleigh didn’t.

Dr. Stephen McDonough, Bismarck

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