Fargo providing COVID-19 relief to bars, restaurants

December 29, 2020

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Elected officials in North Dakota’s largest city are providing pandemic relief to bars and restaurants by waiving utility charges and providing liquor license rebates.

The Fargo City Commission program eliminates utility fees to qualifying businesses from Jan. 1, 2021 through June 2021, and provides retroactive license refunds. The costs will be covered by federal funds designated for COVID-19 relief, the city said in a release.

Fargo has about 440 licenses bars and restaurants, which have been among the hardest-hit businesses nationwide during the coronavirus crisis.

Meanwhile, virus cases across North Dakota have declined dramatically in December. State health officials on Monday confirmed 94 positive readings out of 2,194 tests processed in the last day, for a positivity rate of 4%.

Johns Hopkins University researchers say North Dakota ranks 46th in the country for new cases per capita in the last two weeks, after occupying the top spot in that category for many weeks. The rolling average number of daily new cases has decreased by 71% over the last two weeks.

The state has confirmed a total of 91,559 cases.

The state’s death count per capita still stands at fourth per capita, researchers say. Health officials reported four new deaths Monday, for a total of 1,270.