Q&A for educational partners regarding the end of the COVID-19 emergency declaration

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Coronavirus

A question and answer response from NDDoH for educational partners regarding the end of the COVID-19 emergency declaration on April 30, 2021.

Q: What changes with the end of the COVID-19 emergency declaration?

A: The NDDoH will continue to coordinate COVID-19 response operations. This includes oversight of the logistics, planning, and communication efforts built during the activation period. With the end of the emergency declaration, the unified command structure, which included the Department of Emergency Services, Office of the Governor, and the NDDoH, will dissolve. The NDDoH will coordinate and lead operations.

Usually, when an emergency declaration ends, the involvement of emergency services and the National Guard also ends. However, the National Guard is a critical component of COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts, and they will continue to serve as requested by Governor Burgum in his announcement on 4/21/2021.

  • The ND Smart Restart plan and color levels will be discontinued on 4/30/2021. The NDDoH will continue to provide information online at Coronavirus | Department of Health (nd.gov).
  • Executive orders issued during the emergency period will expire on 4/30/2021.
  • The state-wide State Health Officer order regarding isolation requirements will also expire on 4/30/2021.
  • The State Health Officer and Local Health Officers retain authority to issue isolation orders on a case-by-case basis for communicable diseases, as warranted see North Dakota Century Code Chapter 23-07.6).

 

Q: What doesn’t change with the end of the COVID-19 emergency declaration?

A: The COVID-19 virus is still present in our communities. The ending of the emergency declaration period does not represent an end to the threat the COVID-19 virus poses.

Q: What do schools need to do?

A: For the safety of students, staff, and faculty, the NDDoH strongly recommends schools continue to use and layer prevention strategies as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Five key prevention strategies are essential to ensure the safe delivery of in-person instruction and help to prevent COVID-19 transmission in schools:
  • The NDDoH recommends schools providing in-person instruction prioritize three prevention strategies:
  • Universal and correct use of masks will reduce the number of those who need to quarantine if exposed.
  • Physical distancing is maximized to the greatest extent possible.
  • Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine.
  • All prevention strategies provide some level of protection; layered strategies implemented at the same time provide the greatest level of protection.
  • Schools should adopt prevention strategies to the largest extent practical—a layered approach is essential.
  • Schools are strongly encouraged to follow exclusion policies already in place for contagious illness (i.e., chickenpox, measles, etc.) as appropriate guidelines for those who test positive for COVID-19.  A COVID-19 decision tree for schools and a decision tree for parents are available online. Allowing individuals who are COVID-19 positive or non-masked close contacts to attend school in-person poses a risk to other students, faculty, and staff. View additional resources online: Schools | Child Care | Universities | Department of Health (nd.gov)

 

Q: Will COVID-19 isolation orders continue to be in place after April 30, 2021?

A: No, the state-wide State Health Officer order regarding isolation requirements will expire on 4/30/2021.

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