WDAY's First News anchor Drew Trafton get you caught up on everything you need to know for Wednesday, Sept. 1.

Headline story: BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and top hospital officials assembled at a news conference on Wednesday, Sept. 1, to deliver a uniform message: If residents don’t seek COVID-19 vaccines, wear masks and resume social distancing at greater rates, the state's health care system could become overwhelmed in the weeks ahead.

Leaders from health care giants Sanford, Essentia, Altru, CHI St. Alexius and Trinity said hospitals in the state’s biggest cities are already pushing up against their limits as staffing issues abound and COVID-19 hospitalizations shoot up. Click here to read more.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at a virtual COVID-19 news conference on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. Screenshot courtesy of North Dakota Governor's Office
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at a virtual COVID-19 news conference on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. Screenshot courtesy of North Dakota Governor's Office

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BISMARCK — With COVID-19 cases climbing exponentially in North Dakota, the state's health care system is feeling the pressure. Major hospitals are overextended, understaffed and running out of room — and officials predict the worst of the crunch is yet to come.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 31, the capital city's two hospitals were caring for 50 mostly unvaccinated COVID-19 patients and had no open intensive care beds between them, said Sanford Bismarck CEO and President Dr. Michael LeBeau.

Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck sits on the corner of North Sixth Street and Rosser Avenue. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck sits on the corner of North Sixth Street and Rosser Avenue. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

JAMESTOWN — Anne Carlsen Center will be implementing mandatory employee vaccinations starting in September with the expectation that all staff are fully immunized by Nov. 15, the center announced. Anne Carlsen Center said the action is necessary to protect the individuals and families they serve as well as the nearly 600 staff providing those services statewide.

A sculpture of Anne Carlsen and a young boy stands near the entrance of the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown. John M. Steiner / The Sun
A sculpture of Anne Carlsen and a young boy stands near the entrance of the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown. John M. Steiner / The Sun

NEW ORLEANS —Residents in southern Louisiana braced for weeks without electrical power and disruption to their water systems in the wake of Hurricane Ida, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast.

By early Tuesday, about 1.3 million customers in the region were without power about 48 hours after the storm made landfall, most of them in Louisiana, according to PowerOutage, which gathers data from U.S. utility companies.

A destroyed car is seen under the debris of a building after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 31, 2021. Marco Bello / Reuters
A destroyed car is seen under the debris of a building after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 31, 2021. Marco Bello / Reuters

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