COVID-19 cases spike in Mayville

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Posted: Friday, May 22, 2020 6:04 am | Updated: 7:28 am, Fri May 22, 2020.

Twenty residents and employees at Luther Memorial Home in Mayville have tested positive for COVID-19, county health officials said Wednesday.

Traill District Health Unit Director Brenda Stallman said 18 of the 20 individuals who tested positive for the virus Monday were Traill County residents.

The one-day surge increased the county’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 20 since health officials began tracking the coronavirus pandemic.

The North Dakota Department of Health announced 102 new cases of COVID-19 earlier in the day, marking the highest number of single-day cases in the state this year.

Stallman told county commissioners in an online meeting that all 20 residents and workers at Luther Memorial Home were asymptomatic. 

“That is troubling because without testing we cannot determine who is positive,” said Stallman, who called the 20 cases “a big, shocking number” for Traill County. 

Stallman said her office has been working to identify people who may have been in close contact with residents and staff members at Luther Memorial Home and advising them to quarantine at home.

However, she told county commissioners that her office had received “pushback on that” from individuals who were refusing to cooperate with health officials.

Later in the day, Stallman identified the individuals as having close contact with virus carriers and did not include staff members or residents at Luther Memorial Home.

Stallman said State’s Attorney Charlie Stock and Traill County Sheriff Steve Hunt have been involved in discussions about enforcing stay-at-home orders for those who refuse to comply with quarantine requests.

“It’s frustrating but it looks like we’re going to have enough people who are not cooperating that it’s going to become necessary,” she said.

Stock said the county anticipated noncompliance with quarantine orders and that a legal procedure, which includes a court hearing, has been put in place to address violators.

“It’s a work in process … and not an easy process,” Stock said. “Technically they can be almost arrested or required to be taken into custody.”

According to the state Department of Health, 2,095 people in North Dakota have tested positive for COVID-19 this year.

Forty-nine deaths have been reported in connection with the virus through Wednesday. More than three-quarters of those deaths, 38, have been reported in Cass County.

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