With coronavirus cases surging, nurses in North Dakota demand a statewide mask mandate

Catherine Garcia
·1 min read

Nurses in North Dakota are pushing back against a new policy stating that they can continue working after testing positive for the coronavirus, as long as they do not show any symptoms and only treat COVID-19 patients.

North Dakota has the worst infection and death rates per person in the United States, and is experiencing a shortage of health care workers and hospital beds. Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced the new policy on Monday, and the North Dakota Nurses Association said in a statement on Wednesday it "recommends that all other public health measures to reduce the demand on the health care system and address staffing shortages are deployed before implementing this particular strategy."

The nurses are urging Burgum to impose a statewide mask mandate, rather than encourage people to wear masks while outside, and said that while it's clear the state is experiencing a crisis, "if a nurse believes they are not well enough to provide safe patient care and chooses not to work under these circumstances, employers should not retaliate against the nurse for making this decision."

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