Nov 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

North Dakota governor issues mask mandate amid coronavirus spike


North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. Photo: Stephen Yang/Getty Images

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) issued a statewide mask mandate late Friday evening that will apply when individuals are inside businesses, indoor public spaces or outdoor spaces when social distancing is not sufficient.

Why it matters: North Dakota's coronavirus numbers per capita are soaring, with the state reporting over 1,800 new cases on Thursday and another 1,400 new cases on Friday. The state's hospitals are overloaded, as are its neighbor, South Dakota's. States nationwide are approaching or already in similar conundrums.

  • Burgum on Friday also placed a 50% or 150-person limit on indoor dining. High school winter sports and extracurriculars will be suspended through at least Dec. 14.

The big picture: The governors of Oregon and New Mexico issued two-week, partial lockdowns in their respective states on Friday.

  • Though officials have hesitated to reinstate sweeping measures they enforced during the first wave, states are facing increased pressure as case numbers rise and hospital beds fill.

Between the lines: North Dakota this spring never entered a full lockdown. Burgam, an ally of President Trump's, repeatedly resisted imposing lockdown measures.

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