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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.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Dec 1, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus may have been in the U.S. in December 2019

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The coronavirus was likely in the U.S. earlier than scientists initially believed — and weeks before it was officially identified in China, according to a study by government scientists published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The big picture: "The findings significantly strengthen evidence suggesting the virus was spreading around the world well before public health authorities and researchers became aware, upending initial thinking about how early and quickly it emerged," the Wall Street Journal reports.

13 hours ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

19 hours ago - Health

"Every Mother Counts" founder: Midwives need more resources during the pandemic

Axios' Niala Boodho and Christy Turlington Burns.

Midwives and doulas need more support from states to ensure safer births for women , as hospitals increasingly become overwhelmed during the coronavirus pandemic, "Every Mother Counts" founder Christy Turlington Burns said on Tuesday at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: More mothers die in the U.S. from complications during pregnancy than in any other developed country, according to a recent Commonwealth Fund analysis, as well as past reporting by NPR and ProPublica.