Published February 6, 2022

Non-Congregate Sheltering Discontinued through Ward County 

Written by
Jasahd Stewart
| The Dakotan

MINOT — Ward County will no longer provide shelter for COVID-positive individuals needing to isolate or quarantine, also known as non-congregate sheltering.

“I will no longer be performing that service due to some issues that we’ve had with it,” said the Director of Emergency Management Jennifer Wiechmann on Tuesday to the Ward County Commissioners.  

She explained that multiple civil disturbances came from those being housed in hotels via the program, becoming too much of a burden for her to shoulder. 

Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) since March of 2020, the program has provided temporary shelter for those who test positive with COVID. 

If one chose to isolate or was in a situation that required they quarantine despite not being able to afford shelter, the program helped cover the sheltering costs (such as several nights in a hotel). 

To qualify, Wiechmann explained people had to provide her with confirmation from a credible source that they had tested positive with COVID. The North Dakota Department of Health, First District Health Unit, Trinity Hospital, or qualified healthcare providers would suffice. 

Weichman said she reached out to local coalitions, and Project BEE or possibly the Men’s Winter Refuge would consider taking on the program instead. 

As of now, the fate of the program depends on whether a local coalition will take on the additional work.  

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