Plain Talk: CDC Director Robert Redfield Gives Mixed Assessment for Status of COVID-19 Outbreak in North Dakota


n this episode of Plain Talk Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Georgia, talks about the COVID-19 impact and how America, generally, and North Dakota, specifically, is handling it.

One point Redfield made is that elected officials need to avoid making sweeping policies, instead tailoring responses to the needs of specific areas. “We need to be more surgical,” Redfield said, echoing something Gov. Doug Burgum has been saying about responding to the pandemic¬†“using a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.”

Asked how North Dakota is doing in its handling of the outbreak, Redfield offered a risk assessment. He said the CDC considers a state in the “red zone” if it has more than 100 active cases per 100,000 citizens. “North Dakota has about 151 per 100,000,” he said, though he added that another measure his agency looks at is the percentage of tests being conducted that are coming back positive.

A 10% rate puts a state in the red zone, per the CDC.

Redfield said North Dakota’s daily rates are typically coming back under 6%.

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