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COVID-19 RESPONSE

The City of Grand Forks is actively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. For up to date info from the City regarding COVID-19 visit our COVID-19 CITY UPDATES page. For those looking for assistance in this difficult time visit our COVID-19 RESOURCES page. City offices are closed to the public but open for business. Find out more at our VIRTUAL CITY HALL

COVID-19 City Updates

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It is our responsibility to prioritize the health of Grand Forks’ residents and employees. We are working with partner agencies including the State Department of Health , Grand Forks Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control

In our efforts to flatten the curve or slow the spread of COVID-19, we are taking precautionary and protective steps. Our objective is to minimize the health impact to our community and its residents and we want everyone to be aware of and understand our actions. 

Below are the Mayor’s emergency and administrative actions and updates regarding City operations.

  • City facilities with the exception of Municipal Court are closed to the public. City services can still be accessed through our Virtual City Hall. These closures include the Alerus Center, Grand Forks Public Library and the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

  • The Mayor has issued a Declaration of Health Emergency to activate necessary powers and resources to respond to this event. 

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 contact your healthcare provider or call Altru 24/7 COVID-19 Screening Hotline at (701) 780-6358.

The City of Grand Forks will be giving updates on the COVID-19 response in our community.  The most recent updates will be at the top of the list.  For information about COVID-19 in our area and our local Public Health response, CLICK HERE.

CITY COUNCIL COVID-19 UPDATE

GF Public Health Situation Report 3-23-20

Post Date:03/24/2020

Overview

Latest WHO Update:

  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020
    • Worldwide total cases: 334,981
    • Worldwide total deaths: 14,652
    • Countries with cases: 189

Latest CDC Update:

  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020:
    • U.S. total cases: 33,404
      • Travel Related: 449
      • Close Contact: 539
      • Under Investigation: 32,416
    • U.S. states reporting: 50 (also D.C., P.R., Guam, and V.I.)
    • U.S. total deaths: 400

      Current Situation in North Dakota:

  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020:
    • Confirmed cases: 32
    • Currently monitoring: 73
    • Total Monitored to Date: 104
    • Total Tested: 1440
    • Total Hospitalized: 4
    • Total Deaths: 0
    • Counties Affected: 6 (Ward, Cass, Burleigh, Morton, Walsh, Ramsey)

       

      GFPH 72-Hour Update

      03/21

  • Local Public Health Unit (LPHU) Administrator’s Meeting:
    • Shelf life of cleaning solutions
    • Cleaning wipes efficacy against COVID-19
      • Call manufacturer for verification
    • LPHU roles for funeral homes during pandemic
    • Resource and manpower requirements for contact tracing
    • Budget creation for COVID-19 response
      • Itemized expenses for Jan. 20th-present
      • Projected expenses for the remainder of March-Jan.15th, 2021
  • Meeting held discuss alternate site for designated quarantine for persons who do not have a place for isolation or quarantine when indicated
    • Topics included a general overview of the need for a designated quarantine facility, financial considerations, logistics, and security concerns
    • After consultation with City Attorney, the need for a procurement process and health officer order was indicated and will be further pursued
  • Regional Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinator (EPR) had meeting with Grand Forks Air Force Base Public Health Officer regarding base facilities that are remaining open in spite of the Governor’s executive order
    • Base legal team is examining whether or not governor’s executive orders must be followed by military installations
    • Certain facilities, such as the base fitness center, are remaining open due to force readiness concerns
  • Guidance issued regarding roles involved with the quarantining of homeless individuals
  • A change in communications from the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) Disease Control regarding positive test results means that county emergency managers will now be notified at the same time (LPHU)s are notified
  • Connecting with University of North Dakota Master of Public Health (MPH) program to see about partnering with MPH students to perform contact tracing
  • Withdrawal Management Center is now closed
  • Grand Forks Public Health now has an Instagram page to facilitate greater outreach to the younger demographic in our region
  • Environmental Health manager is still seeking clarification towards a definitional understanding of “Take Out,” no such definition currently exists and interpretations vary throughout the state
  • Questions about fit testing city bus drivers for N95 masks
    • N95s are not designed for all day wear
    • There is a call for the mayor to issue an executive order that would suspend bus fares and allow for riders to enter and exit from the rear of the bus to limit contact with drivers
  • Guidance given from EPRs to emergency manager that EMTs can order supplies from HAN Assets
  • Outreach continuing with regional medical facilities to ensure they have all the support they need

    03/22

  • NDDoH Hospital Preparedness Program manager contacted EPR to establish formalized liaison role with Altru
    • Discussions with Altru Emergency Preparedness Manager about what that would look like and how best to implement

      03/23

  • State of North Dakota Joint Information Center (JIC) call
    • Working on providing numbers of tests per county, as has been requested by the media on multiple occasions
    • Will be adding a “Recovered” bubble to the webpage along with all other information currently provided
    • Four ND National Guard troops have been activated to assist with warehouse operations and order fulfillment from the state medical cache
  • Facilitated high priority specimen transport from Park River to the state lab
  • Staff met with Fargo-Cass EPR about hospital preparedness and liaison roles
  • Staff met with Altru about issues with ordering from state cache
    • Clarification gained from NDDoH about state cache operations, expectations, and limitations
      • Daily reports will be now delivered from the state cache regarding supply levels and available assets that can then be communicated back to healthcare facilities
  • City Leadership Press Conference
    • Mayor issuing executive order to waive bus pass fees
    • Altru limiting visitors to one in the hospital and zero in the emergency room
      • 289 total tests performed by Altru with 41 currently pending and no positive returns
      • Altru currently has adequate supplies, but are implementing PPE saving measures
    • Dr. Brenner laid out the public school plan for continuing education during social distancing
    • City provided information on shift staggering, social distancing, and minimum manning to ensure adequate personnel available for flood fight
  • State issued guidance for food and lodging
    • Forwarded to Councilmember Bret Weber who is meeting with business leaders later today
  • Fit testing is occurring at the jail
  • Grand Forks Public Health (GFPH) will implement an Incident Command Structure to organize expanding operations and establish roles and responsibilities for GFPH personnel
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