More than 140 LM Wind Power employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to data reported to the North Dakota Department of Health, 145 LM employees have tested positive for COVID-19. The number includes 130 North Dakotans and 15 from out of state, according to the health department.
The numbers are a combination from the two mass testing events and testing done at private health care providers in North Dakota, the state health department reported.
There has also been 26 positive close contacts cases, according to the health department.
The North Dakota National Guard and state and local health officials have held two mass testing events since LM reported its first cases of COVID-19 on April 14.
The National Guard members tested 714 people on Thursday, April 23, in the parking lot of the Alerus Center. Of those: 62 tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, three tests were inconclusive, and 649 were negative. About half of the positive cases reported from the April 23 testing event were LM employees.
The testing event was originally meant for close contacts of LM Wind Power plant employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and JR Simplot employees. However, Simplot chose not to inform its employees about the testing event because the company felt the tests would be better used out in the community. It’s unknown how many Simplot employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
The number of positive cases in North Dakota climbed to more than 1,000 on Wednesday, April 29. The state has had 1,033 cases; however, more than 400 individuals have recovered from the virus. Grand Forks and Cass counties make up a majority of the cases with 251 and 492 cases, respectively.
On Tuesday, Gov. Doug Burgum announced that the state would begin implementing its North Dakota Smart Restart plan, which will allow previously closed businesses to begin to reopen under certain criteria.
During a virtual press conference held by the city of Grand Forks Wednesday, Debbie Swanson, director of Grand Forks Public Health, said individuals will still need to be careful, even as some restrictions are lifted.