Governor Burgum and company are working on the North Dakota Smart Restart guidance plan for large gatherings. In today's (May 15) Press briefing, the governor talked about the amendment to executive order 2020-06, which would give venues the option to host events with fewer occupants. So, will we get to have anymore real events this year?

I should tell you not to hold your breath for big concerts or anything like that. According to today's conference, we'll only kind of be able to gather for events. The guidelines recommend up to 50% capacity of a venue (or up to 250 people). While venues can have up to 250 people, it is still recommended that safe social distancing is practiced.

The governor stated that, while we can't eliminate the risk of spreading the virus when going out, we can reduce the risk of spread. Venues are encouraged to do what businesses and restaurants have done to keep the risk level low. Governor Burgum suggested that venues have separate exits and entrances, contactless payment systems, and touchless faucets (bathrooms) and doors. Also, venue restaurants should practice what other restaurants have been doing since they reopened.

Now, the governor did say that these guidelines are not required, but it sounds like most venues will stick fairly closely to the guidelines. He also said that masks won't be required at these places, but we should understand that some may want or need to, and that we should respect those individuals' decisions. Last, he stated that we will get further guidance on banquet halls and ballrooms (hopefully) by midnight tonight.