Wahpeton, Richland advised to return to face masks

Kayla Carlson, the public health director for Richland County, North Dakota, gave Wahpeton Mayor Steve Dale and the full city council an update on the delta variant at their last meeting.

Community spread continues to be the most common means for the transmission of COVID-19, Kayla Carlson said Monday, Aug. 16 in Wahpeton.

Carlson, the public health director for Richland County, North Dakota, gave Wahpeton Mayor Steve Dale and the full city council an update on the delta variant. Local COVID-19 activity rose Wednesday, Aug. 18 to 10 cases, including seven new. Fifty-five new coronavirus tests were processed.

“Richland County just came out of the high and substantial (levels for) transmission rate,” Carlson said. “We are down to moderate, which is a good place to be.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that in the immediate aftermath of elevated COVID-19 transmission rates, a population should return to wearing face masks for a period of several weeks. All members of the population, including those who have been vaccinated, are advised to wear face masks.

“We are seeing that fully-vaccinated individuals can still transmit the delta variant. That’s where the recommendations for masking, regardless if your vaccinated, is coming from,” Carlson said.

The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) reports that as of Sunday, Aug. 15, 58 percent of Richland County’s adult population is up to date with its COVID-19 vaccinations. Nearly 61 percent of the local adult population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

“You would strongly recommend (for) people who haven’t been vaccinated to get vaccinated,” Mayor Dale said.

“Very, very strongly,” Carlson said.

Sixteen motions were voted on Monday by the council. With the exception of a motion to offer first reading of Ordinance No. 1030, approve ballot language and set a special election for Tuesday, Oct. 26 (a motion that passed 6-2), all were unanimously passed. Approved items included:

• Ordinance No. 1026, governing development of the former Central Elementary site, a 14-lot property being converted to residential use

• Ordinance No. 1028, concerning local cable TV franchising, and Resolution No. 3804, a franchise agreement with Red River Communications

• an amended liquor license for the Firehouse Pub, which now has a three-building footprint on the 300 block of Dakota Avenue; the license will include the business’ new floor plan

• appointment of Lisa Kunkel, executive Vice President of the Wahpeton Breckenridge Area Chamber of Commerce, as a voting member of the Wahpeton Convention and Visitors Bureau board

• an agreement for the development of the Prairie Flats housing and commercial space located in southwest Wahpeton

• a joint powers agreement with the Wahpeton Park Board for management of a grant to improve Chahinkapa Zoo

Wahpeton City Hall and the Leach Public Library will be closed Monday, Sept. 6 in observance of Labor Day. The next city council meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7.

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