The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has added Minnesota to the growing list of U.S. states with widespread transmission of the novel coronavirus, and that has a direct impact on anyone traveling back to North Dakota from Minnesota.
Per North Dakota's guidelines, anyone traveling back to North Dakota from a state with widespread transmission of COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days. The only exceptions are for people who work in essential industries.
The move is particularly ironic given that Minnesota is currently under a "Stay at Home" order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while North Dakota is not.
Here's the rule, per the North Dakota Department of Health:
"All individuals traveling back to North Dakota from international locations and states in the U.S. that have been classified as having widespread disease by the CDC (list below) must quarantine immediately upon reentry to the state of North Dakota and for a period of 14 days.
"Essential critical infrastructure workers, as defined by the United States Department of Homeland Security, are exempt from this order.
"Affected individuals are encouraged to fill out the travel form to receive information on how to monitor for symptoms. If you have symptoms and wish to seek medical care, please call before you go in."
Anyone in quarantine who experiences symptoms – fever, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, headache, chills, or sore throat – must immediately contact the state or a local health department.
Anyone who returns to North Dakota and doesn't self-quarantine for 14 days can be punished by up to 30 days in jail and/or a $1,500 fine.
This guidelines could prove difficult for towns in Minnesota bordering North Dakota, like Moorhead, for example. But Gov. Doug Burgum said Tuesday that they're working on an amendment to the order so they're "not creatin ga problem for our border metros."
Forum News Service reports that more than a third of North Dakota's population live in six counties along the Minnesota border.
As of Tuesday, North Dakota has 237 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and four deaths.