VALLEY CITY, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – The North Dakota Department of Health has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in Barnes County.

In their latest report, 184 total tests have been conducted as of 9 AM with 15 new positive cases. This brings the states total number of cases to 83.

Over, 2,892 tests have been done with 2,809 coming back negative

The Barnes County cases are a male between the ages of 60-69 and female between the ages of 50-59. Both cases are under investigation.

Other confirmed cases around the state today include Montrail, Cass, Sioux, Stark, Morton, and Burleigh.

City County Health District Director Theresa Will talked about the current situation in Barnes County with reporter Steve Urness.

The following is a news release issued on March 28th addressing the COVID-19 cases that tested positive.

“Barnes County’s first confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been identified. The cases are a man in his 60’s and a woman in her 50’s. No additional information regarding travel or community spread has been identified at this point but is currently under investigation. The individuals are self-isolating and recovering at home. The North Dakota Department of Health is currently identifying people who have been in close contact with the affected individuals.

According to City-County Health District Health Officer, Dr. James Buhr, “We have been expecting this and we know more cases are going to follow. We are prepared to meet the needs of our community. We continue to work diligently to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Barnes County. The health and safety of community members is our highest priority.”

City-County Health District Administrator, Theresa Will, urges local residents to be prepared, but not panic. “We are fortunate to have excellent staff and community partners who have been working collaboratively to prepare. It’s important that we continue to be united in our response. It’s equally important that we remain committed to fulfilling our personal responsibility to help slow the spread.”

Currently there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent being infected with the virus is to avoid exposure. As a community, we need to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. In order to do this, we ask you to do the following:
· Practice social distance
· Contact your healthcare provider if you are sick
· Practice good hygiene; wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, sneeze or cough into a tissue (and wash hand immediately) or the inside of your elbow
· Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces

For questions related to COVID-19, the public can call the North Dakota Department of Health hotline at 866-207-2880 from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., 7 days/week or City-County Health Distract at 701-845-8518, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. , Monday – Friday. Individuals experiencing a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, should call their healthcare provider prior to going to the healthcare facility.