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North Dakota governor changes tack and issues mask mandate

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Nov 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-14 17:30:25-05

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — After months of resisting ordering the people of North Dakota to wear masks and limit the size of gatherings, the state’s Republican governor has relented in an effort to stem a coronavirus surge that is among the worst in the U.S.

Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive order Friday night came as a surprise.

Throughout the pandemic, the former software executive had been leaving it to individuals to take personal responsibility for slowing the spread of the virus.

But in a video message announcing his new restrictions, a somber Burgum said, “Our situation has changed, and we must change with it.”

As of Saturday, there were only 18 free Intensive Care Unit beds throughout North Dakota.