North Dakota governor changes tack and issues mask mandate

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — After months of resisting ordering the people of North Dakota to wear masks and limit the size of gatherings, the state’s Republican governor has relented in an effort to stem a coronavirus surge that is among the worst in the U.S. Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive order Friday night came as a surprise. Throughout the pandemic, the former software executive had been leaving it to individuals to take personal responsibility for slowing the spread of the virus. But in a video message announcing his new restrictions, a somber Burgum said, “Our situation has changed, and we must change with it.” As of Saturday, there were only 18 free Intensive Care Unit beds throughout North Dakota.