It is January 18, the day that the statewide mask mandate in North Dakota ends!

According to the Bismarck Tribune, in his decision to end the mandate, Governor Doug Burgum "cited a dramatic drop in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and test positivity rate over the past two months. He also noted the availability of vaccines, rapid tests and new therapeutic treatments." Plus, restaurant and bar capacity and hour restrictions went from requirements to recommendations. Does that mean we are back to "North Dakota normal"?

While the governor has eased up on pandemic-related rules and restrictions, the Bismarck Tribune reports that he is still encouraging North Dakotans to wear masks. And, though there are not any current citywide restrictions in Bismarck or Mandan, there are a couple of North Dakota cities that will still have mask mandates for the time being.

According to Valley News Live (Fargo), Grand Forks and Fargo are both going to continue mask mandates in their cities in accordance with the statewide requirements. While Valley News Live reports that Fargo's mandate is set to run at least through February 18, the news outlet did not specify how long the mandate in Grand Forks is expected to be in effect.

The governor may be easing up COVID-19 restrictions, but are things really moving back towards "normal"? The numbers are low now, but will they flair up as restrictions are lessened? Will we be forced back into another statewide mask mandate if that happens? Will more cities follow Grand Forks and Fargo, and reinstate citywide mandates?

The list of questions goes on and on.

How do you feel about the governor easing statewide COVID-19 restrictions in North Dakota?

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