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Gov. Burgum responds to ND coronavirus case

Minot-Bsmrck-Dcknsn(Wlstn) KFYR-TV logo Minot-Bsmrck-Dcknsn(Wlstn) KFYR-TV 3/12/2020 Jacob Notermann
Doug Burgum wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Minot-Bsmrck-Dcknsn(Wlstn) KFYR-TV

Gov. Doug Burgum and state health officials responded to the first case of coronavirus in North Dakota. He urged people to not panic and be cautious for others. Jacob Notermann has more on the points they want to get out there.

Burgum said this is the day they've been preparing the last two months for. For weeks, he's been warning the state that it would be incredibly likely that a case of coronavirus would appear in North Dakota. Now that it has, the state is in response mode.

"It's pretty straight forward. Which is we want to be making decisions based on facts, not on fear. And we want to focus on preparation and avoid any panic,” Burgum said.

Burgum also said his office is taking a full-government approach to stopping the spread of coronavirus.

State Health Officials said there's a limited supply of testing kits in the country. And while the disease continues to spread, they've loosened the criteria for who qualifies for the test.

"The testing criteria continues to be based on risk, travel history, exposure to somebody who has COVID-19. It continues to be based on symptom severity,” said Kirby Kruger, Division of Disease Control.

And while trying to add confidence to a concerned audience, Burgum admitted the statistics may not improve in the short term.

"It’s highly probable that there are other existing cases of the coronavirus in North Dakota today that have not yet been identified,” Burgum said.

Burgum added that the water supply is safe to drink. Shoppers have been stocking up on basic living necessities including bottled water. However, coronavirus doesn't spread in water and the taps are fine.

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