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COVID hospitalizes Bruce Gjovig, longtime Grand Forks business and political figure

In addition to his work at UND, Gjovig has also been a prolific donor and power broker active in conservative Grand Forks politics. He has been an Air Force-appointed community liaison with the local Air Force base since 2016.

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Bruce Gjovig has been appointed to a second term as a U.S. Air Force Civic Leader. (Submitted photo)

Bruce Gjovig, a local author and the former head of UND’s Center for Innovation, is hospitalized with COVID, according to multiple social media reports that the Herald has confirmed privately.

Gjovig’s condition is serious, and according to an entry on the website CaringBridge, he is breathing with the help of a ventilator. He remains at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.

Further updates on Gjovig’s health are expected to be released on CaringBridge, at caringbridge.org/visit/brucegjovig .

“Currently, Bruce is battling COVID-19,” a Nov. 15 update to the CaringBridge site reads. “He remains in ICU, in an induced coma, breathing with the help of a ventilator. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.”

Gjovig has had a severe case of COVID since at least last week. North Dakota radio personality Scott Hennen shared his support for Gjovig on Nov. 13, requesting community prayers and calling Gjovig a “legendary thinker, author, entrepreneur coach and longtime friend to many.”

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State Rep. Emily O’Brien, R-Grand Forks, shared an update on Gjovig on social media on Monday evening.

“His heart is strong! Kidneys are working! Bruce Gjovig is too strong and too stubborn to let this virus have the last word!” she wrote. “Please keep him in your prayers and don’t lose hope!”

Although a number of Greater Grand Forks public figures have contracted COVID, Gjovig's case may be the first widely known case in which a well-known local newsmaker has developed such severe complications. But it’s the latest in a long line of illnesses that have kept local health care workers busy for the duration of the pandemic; the North Dakota Department of Health has tracked more than 13,500 cases in Grand Forks County since the start of the pandemic.

In addition to his work at UND, Gjovig has also been a prolific donor and power broker active in conservative Grand Forks politics. He has been an Air Force-appointed community liaison with the local Air Force base since 2016.

“Bruce has done so much for so many in the community,” Barry Wilfahrt, head of the local Chamber of Commerce, told the Herald. “I’m just sad to hear he’s in the hospital.”

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