COVID-19 Pandemic Response

We are ensuring ‘We the People’ means all of us

As all levels of government respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, the ACLU of North Dakota is working to ensure the burdens of the outbreak and the government’s actions do not unfairly fall on our most vulnerable communities. We are monitoring the government’s responses to ensure they are rooted in science and public health needs, not based on stigma or bias, and no more intrusive on civil liberties than absolutely necessary.

The spread of COVID-19 is a crisis, and it will take many of us working together to respond appropriately, effectively, and fairly. The ACLU of North Dakota will be monitoring the situation to ensure a response that is ​scientifically justified and no more intrusive upon civil liberties than absolutely necessary. In particular, we will provide guidance to our elected officials on crafting a response that protects the populations most vulnerable to harm, including working people, immigrants, and those involved in the criminal legal system.

The spread of COVID-19 is a crisis, and it will take many of us working together to respond appropriately, effectively, and fairly. The ACLU of North Dakota will be monitoring the situation to ensure a response that is ​scientifically justified and no more intrusive upon civil liberties than absolutely necessary. In particular, we will provide guidance to our elected officials on crafting a response that protects the populations most vulnerable to harm, including working people, immigrants, and those involved in the criminal legal system.

Here you will find information about the ACLU’s response to COVID-19, including news updates, blog posts, guidelines, and letters to public officials—as well as other resources. Above all, the ACLU of North Dakota believes:

  • Any coronavirus response should be grounded in science and public health, and not be politicized
  • Any response plan must protect the health, safety, and civil liberties of all
  • State leaders should encourage voluntary compliance with self-isolation measures as much as possible
  • If leaders want to be effective in limiting the transmission of coronavirus, they will need to pay particular attention to the most vulnerable people in our society

Incarcerated people

People in jail are highly vulnerable to outbreaks of contagious illnesses. State and local law enforcement including the attorney general, district attorneys, and local police should reduce the number of people in state custody in order to prevent the virus from entering a prison or jail.

Immigrants

Nobody should be afraid to seek medical care for fear of immigration enforcement. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has stated that it does not conduct enforcement operations at medical facilities, except under extraordinary circumstances. In addition, ICE should halt immigration detentions to limit the spread of the virus in jails and detentions centers and to limit the hardships that the virus causes for immigrant communities.

Working people

In order to encourage all people to cooperate with health officials and public health guidelines, government and employers must ensure that people are protected from job loss and economic hardship. Government and employers must provide social and economic protection including strong paid family and medical leave policies and income support.

How You Can Help Today 

Other Resources

This page will continue to provide updates on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting civil rights and civil liberties in North Dakota. We will also be sharing relevant community and statewide news and resources here as well as our social media channels, links listed below.

If you think you may have symptoms of COVID-19 or have questions about being tested, contact your general healthcare provider to ask about testing. If you do not have a general healthcare provider, contact the North Dakota Department of Public Health at 701-328-2372. 

Don't forget to wash your hands properly  

Handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid infection from the new coronavirus, but most people aren’t very good at it. Here’s expert guidance on how to do it right.

1. Community Resources and Organizations

Q.Community Resources and Organizations
A.

Get informed

Get help

 

2. Advocacy on COVID-19

Q.Advocacy on COVID-19
A.

On March 18, 2020 we issued a letter to Gov. Doug Burgum, the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the North Dakota Sheriffs & Deputies Association about the need to make sure officials are doing everything they can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in North Dakota’s correctional facilities.

As COVID-19 continues to spread within North Dakota communities, on March 20 we commended the North Dakota Parole Board for its decision to mitigate the state’s prison population as a response, granting parole to 56 people during a special meeting. 

On the March 25 episode of Plain Talk, Dane DeKrey from the ACLU of North Dakota, and Adam Martin from the F5 Project, discuss the issue of COVID-19 and how it affects the criminal legal system in our state.

We're asking the state to do more to protect the health and safety of all North Dakotans. We're calling for Gov. Doug Burgum to order a temporary eviction moratorium in the state before April 1, 2020.

Several area nonprofit organizations are asking the state to do more to protect the health and safety of all North Dakotans and are calling on Gov. Doug Burgum to issue a temporary eviction moratorium/freeze on foreclosures during the COVID-19 crisis.

We've joined a coalition of organizations across the state of North Dakota to hold elected leaders accountable during the COVID-19 crisis any beyond. 

3. Actions you can take

Q.Actions you can take
A.

Advocate at home

Wash your hands 

Keep phsyically active