“Today marks one year since we confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in North Dakota. As we always do in an emergency, North Dakotans came together as friends and neighbors to fight this invisible enemy, taking actions to slow the spread of the coronavirus and save lives and livelihoods. We recognized the importance of keeping our children in school, our economy open and our most vulnerable residents protected.
“We could not have weathered this storm without the incredible efforts of our frontline health care workers, first responders, educators, business leaders, local public health units, the dedicated members of Team ND and, most of all, the residents of our great state who showed the power of personal responsibility. For your commitment to protecting your fellow North Dakotans, we are eternally grateful. As our COVID numbers trend in the right direction and North Dakota continues to be a national leader in vaccination efforts, we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we have each of you to thank for it.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the 1,454 North Dakotans who have passed with COVID-19 as we mourn this pandemic’s terrible toll on our nation and the world. In honor of those lost to COVID-19, as well as the more than 99,000 North Dakotans who have recovered from the virus and the health care workers, first responders and other heroes of this pandemic fight, tonight the Capitol’s southside windows will be lit up in the shape of a heart, just as they were nearly one year ago – to remind us now, as we did then, that we are in this together, and together we will emerge stronger than ever.”