The vast majority of day care providers in the Jamestown area are continuing to operate, according to Julie Opp, child care licensing supervisor for the North Dakota Department of Human Services in the Jamestown area.
Opp told a media briefing Friday that three child care providers in Stutsman County had decided to close out of concern for the spread of the coronavirus. Opp estimated that more than 50 had made the decision to stay open.
"They are doing extra cleaning and monitoring," Opp said. "... the day cares can make their own decision in regards to this."
Gov. Doug Burgum announced Thursday the state of North Dakota would make grants available to help day care facilities remain operational through any financial difficulties caused by coronavirus precautions.
"We will need them again when this is all over," Opp said.
Robin Iszler, unit administrator for Central Valley Health District, said there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in Stutsman or Logan counties. Regionally, one confirmed case was reported in McIntosh County and another in Foster County.
Iszler said Central Valley Health was assisting with tracing the movements of the case from McIntosh County and said anyone who had been in contact with the person was being notified.
The public is also being asked to keep track of who they come in contact with so those people could be contacted if a person tests positive for the coronavirus.
"We will talk with any confirmed cases about who they have been in contact with," Iszler said.
Contact is defined as within 6 feet for 15 minutes, she said.
"We're asking the public to keep a log of who they are coming in contact with," Iszler said.
Testing is being done by Jamestown Regional Medical Center and Sanford Clinic in Jamestown. Jon Lillejord, director of the Sanford Clinics in Jamestown and Edgeley, said they are conducting what is referred to as driveby testing although there are no similarities to a fast-food restaurant.
The screening is done in the patient's car but an appointment is required and the patient will be asked screening questions before the appointment is made.
Sanford had conducted 65 tests since March 19. Test results are pending on 18 tests with all others coming back negative for COVID-19
Sanford Clinic has also instituted a policy prohibiting people other than the patient from entering the clinic. The exceptions are children 17 years or younger who may be accompanied by one parent.
Unemployment is climbing, according to Danica Chaput, workforce center manager for Job Service North Dakota in Jamestown.
Chaput said during the week ending March 21, the most current statistics available, 77 people filed new unemployment claims in Jamestown. That compares to six people who had filed new claims in the previous two weeks.
"Most are in the food service and retail industries," she said.
The coronavirus precautions continue to hit the businesses of Jamestown hard, according to Emily Bivens, executive director of the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce.
Bivens advised local businesses to monitor the chamber's website for information about disaster and support programs that might be available and contact their banker for additional information.
"And we're telling businesses to stay in touch with their customers," she said. "We're all in this together."
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