Gov. Doug Burgum today signed an executive order designed to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and expand testing locations for North Dakotans.
The order expands the list of those authorized to administer COVID-19 tests to include licensed pharmacists in collaboration with the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH). It also eliminates the proof-of-delivery requirement for pharmacies and allows pharmacists to provide emergency refills for medications for up to a 30-day supply.
“These measures will give North Dakotans more places to get tested, ensure they can obtain the medications they need and reduce person-to-person contact to help slow the spread of coronavirus,” Burgum said. “This is yet another example of how we’re continuing to seek out partnerships that enhance our COVID-19 response efforts through a whole-of-government and whole-of-community approach.”
The NDDoH today confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19, both in Burleigh County: a woman in her 20s and a man in his 30s. The state has tested 1,182 cases, including 28 positive cases. Three individuals have been hospitalized.
During today’s press conference at the Capitol, executives from Sanford Health and CHI-St. Alexius Health in Bismarck shared how their systems are responding to the COVID-19 crisis, including testing symptomatic patients and those with risk factors. They urged citizens to practice social distancing and call ahead before going to the clinic to get tested for COVID-19.
“It’s important that we work together,” said Dr. Michael LeBeau, president of Sanford Bismarck, referring to the NDDoH and state lab. “If you look at where other states are at currently, we’re lucky that we still have supplies, that we’re still testing, and that’s because I think our state has done a very nice job of coming together and working to make sure that we’re testing.”
Kurt Schley, president of CHI-St. Alexius Health in Bismarck, said hospitals prepare for events such as this and are working closely with NDDoH while also following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
“There are hospital workers across the state that every day put their lives on the line. They are committed to North Dakota. They are committed to their patients. This is a time of extreme focus,” Schley said.
North Dakota National Guard Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, the state’s adjutant general, said liaisons are being set up between hospitals and the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate planning so that adequate resources are in place if the COVID-19 crisis escalates.
For the most updated and timely information related to COVID-19, visit the NDDoH website at www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, visit ndresponse.gov or visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.