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Coronavirus

North Dakotag Overnor OKs Infected Nurses to Keep Working

November 12, 2020

BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Nurses Association says it doesn’t support a move to allow health care workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms to remain on the job.

Gov. Doug Burgum supports the idea to ease stress both on hospitals and medical personnel amid skyrocketing coronavirus cases in North Dakota. Burgum says hospital administrators asked for the action and interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke amended an order to allow it to take effect.

The nurses’ association says guidance from the CDC says the decision should be left to the COVID-19 positive nurse whether to work. The association says other measures, such as mask wearing, should be used to reduce the demand on the health care system before implementing this strategy.

Burgum, a Republican, has not supported a statewide mask mandate. Instead, he’s stressed personal responsibility.

North Dakota has the highest number of new cases per capita in the nation, according to Johns Hopkins data, with one in every 83 residents testing positive in the past week.

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