Jamestown Regional Medical Center has administered 12 tests for the coronavirus since concerns were raised a couple of weeks ago, according to Mike Delfs, president and CEO of the hospital.
None have been positive, he said at a press conference held Friday at the Jamestown City Council chambers.
The press conference was by invitation only to Jamestown area media who were asked health screening questions at the door before admission. Most of the chairs in the City Council chambers had been removed from the room with the remaining chairs about 6 feet apart to allow for social distancing.
Delfs said he was aware that other people from the community had called to request the test for the coronavirus but JRMC was following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and limiting testing to those at higher risk of the virus.
"We want to make sure we have enough tests locally in case there is a surge," he said.
JRMC has a supply of about 80 of the nasal swabs used to collect the sample for the coronavirus test, Delfs said. If that supply is exhausted, the hospital would have to use other methods to gather the sample for testing.
Delfs was one of six local health officials and first responders who spoke during the press conference.
Robin Iszler, unit administrator for Central Valley Health District, said her department is preparing for potential cases in its service area of Stutsman and Logan counties.
In the event of a confirmed case of coronavirus in the area, Central Valley Health District would assist the North Dakota Department of Health with tracing the person's possible movements to alert as many people as possible of potential exposure. Central Valley Health is also serving as the command center for the local response to the coronavirus.
Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich expressed the importance of community cooperation in dealing with the health and financial issues associated with the coronavirus.
"If everyone cooperates perhaps we can get a handle on this," he said. "If we do not this will grow to a major health care catastrophe and further damage our small businesses and our friends and family who are already suffering financial loss."
Chad Kaiser, Stutsman County sheriff, offered reassurances that the sheriff's office was operating normally.
"Deputies have been encouraged to maintain social distancing," he said. "They may talk on the phone or may wear masks or other protective gear if necessary."
Scott Edinger, Jamestown police chief, said his department is patrolling the streets and taking enforcement actions.
Edinger said officers would take reports of some crimes over the phone rather than dispatching an officer to the scene. The public is asked to call 252-1000 to report crimes that are not emergencies and 252-2414 during office hours for administrative questions and information. Residents should call 911 in emergency situations.
Officials speaking to the press conference stressed the importance of social distancing, staying home when ill, not gathering in groups of 10 or more and hand washing all as ways to avoid contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
"Please, let's do this and do it right," Heinrich said. "Get this behind us and get on with the business of making Jamestown an even better place to live."