BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota has risen to 33, and while the increase in the state remains relatively low, North Dakotans should not be complacent about the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Doug Burgum said Monday.

Burgum said the latest cases involve a woman in her 30s in Burleigh County who had close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus and a man in his 70s from Walsh County whose case is under investigation. The Republican governor said Monday at the start of a news conference he just learned of another case from a batch of testing conducted in Cass County, for a total of three new cases since Sunday.

North Dakota has reported no deaths from the disease.

North Dakota is fortunate that the state is one of those that have reported a relatively low increase in coronavirus cases for the third day in a row, Burgum said.

“This is not the situation in the rest of the United States and this is not the situation in the rest of the world,” Burgum said.

But he added: “This is not the time for us to be complacent." Burgum said each day with a low number of new cases gives the state more time to prepare while helping “flatten the curve” of the outbreak.

Burgum also said while North Dakotans should maintain physical distance to slow the spread of the disease, they still should stay socially connected for their mental health.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

Burgum has already ordered all bars, restaurants, health clubs, movie theaters and other large-scale venues to close to patrons, while still allowing offsite food and beverage service. He is also keeping K-12 schools closed until further notice so districts can map out plans to resume classes remotely.

State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said at Monday's news conference that North Dakota has requested a waiver for all federally mandated student assessments for the rest of the school year.


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