BISMARCK, N.D. (MARCH 11, 2020) – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDOH) today confirmed the state’s first presumptive case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a Ward County resident, Gov. Doug Burgum announced with health officials.

“We have been planning and preparing for this since January, and our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of all North Dakotans,” Burgum said. “With the North Dakota Department of Health and its partners at the state, local and federal levels, we are working together to stay on top of this rapidly evolving situation.”

“We encourage citizens to be prepared and not panic – to base their actions on facts, not fear,” Burgum added. “North Dakotans should take this virus seriously, stay informed and follow recommendations for reducing the spread of COVID-19, including washing hands frequently and staying at home when they are sick. We continue to work closely with our hospitals, nursing homes, schools, the business community and other stakeholders to ensure that every appropriate measure is being taken to protect vulnerable populations and all citizens.”

Prior to becoming ill, the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 had traveled out of state where he had contact with a person who has since tested positive for the disease. The Ward County man, who is in his 60s, has not been hospitalized and is currently self-isolating and recovering at home. The public health investigation is ongoing.

As the NDDOH awaits confirmation testing from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), team members are working to identify people who may have come into close contact with the individual in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

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