BISMARCK (AP) - North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has ordered a statewide mask mandate and imposed several business restrictions in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus that has stressed the state's hospital capacity.
The Republican governor's executive order late Friday comes after months of pressure from health care professionals to require face coverings. The directive requires residents to wear face coverings in indoor businesses and indoor public settings, as well as outdoor public settings where physical distancing isn't possible.
The order goes into effect Saturday. Failure to comply with the mandate is an infraction, with a penalty of up to $1,000, though it's not clear how it will be enforced.
State health data show North Dakota reached a grim new milestone on Friday, as its COVID-19 death toll eclipsed the 700 mark. The state has reported more than 60,000 coronavirus infections.