This is our continuing effort to provide frequent email updates to inform and equip you as best we can to respond to COVID-19 within your congregation and community. View COVID-19 response page
The current situation - March 23, 2020
The Center for Disease Control reports as of March 23, 2020, 33,404 total cases in the United States with 400 deaths.
North Dakota has 32 positive cases, four hospitalizations, and no deaths. There is documented community spread. Counties with positive cases are Burleigh (Bismarck area) 17 cases, Cass (Fargo area) 1 case, Morton (Mandan area) 7 cases, Pierce (Rugby area) 2 cases, Ramsey (Devils Lake area) 1 case, Walsh (Grafton area) 1 case, Ward (Minot area) 3 cases. Read the executive orders restricting gatherings and requesting in-place sheltering, from the governor of North Dakota here.
The State of South Dakota has 28 positive cases and one death. Community spread is documented. Counties with positive cases are: Beadle (Huron area) 12 cases, Bon Homme (Tyndall area) 1 case, Brown (Aberdeen area) 1 case, Charles Mix (Platte, Lake Andes area) 1 case, Codington (Watertown area) 1 case, Davison (Mitchell area) 2 cases, Hughes (Pierre area) 1 case, Lyman (Presho area) 1 case, McCook (Salem area) 1 case, Minnehaha (Sioux Falls area) 5 cases, Pennington (Rapid City area) 1 case—resulting in death that occurred in Davison County. Governor Noem issued an executive order for restricting gatherings and requesting in-place shelter, read more here.
New resources for you:
Video conferencing via UMConnect: Do you need help setting up a remote meeting for your staff and/or leadership team? UMConnect is a video conferencing service used by the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church to connect people across our three-state area. The vendor our system uses is BlueJeans; it is a cloud-based video conferencing platform that can be used for video conferencing meetings, phone conferencing, webinars, recordings of meetings, and live chat. The Dakotas-Minnesota Area has a negotiated BlueJeans contract for our staff and ministry teams. However, during the coronavirus outbreak, our local churches have been granted permission to use our BlueJeans account, provided that meetings are set up through a conference staff member. To learn more and get help setting up a meeting, click here.
Tips for live streaming: More than 100 congregations streamed their worship service this past weekend. Click here to view a list of congregations, with links to virtual options for worship. Please help keep this list updated and send us any information we may have missed. We would love to list your Wednesday worship, children’s and youth ministry service or gathering. Email information and updates now. You may be ready for some tips or next steps. Check out this video.
Here are the ways you can connect with them.