(Bismarck, ND) -- With active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota at their lowest level since mid-August, Governor Doug Burgum Wednesday announced the statewide risk level is being adjusted from moderate/yellow risk to low/green risk, effective 8 a.m. Friday, January 29th.

A low/green risk level increases the recommended occupancy limit for bars, restaurants and other food service establishments from 65 percent of licensed facility capacity up to 200 patrons, to 80 percent of licensed facility capacity up to 300 patrons, with social distancing. Face coverings should be strongly recommended or required. Banquet, ballrooms and event venues are recommended at 75 percent of room capacity, not to exceed the ND Smart Restart capacity limits.

Burgum noted active cases have decreased to 1,016 Wednesday, down from over 10,000 in mid-November, and the state’s 14-day positivity rate has decreased to 3.17 percent, the lowest since August 22nd. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 stand at 49, down from a peak of 334 on Nov.ember 11th.

North Dakota ranked lowest among all states for test positivity last week, according to the state report distributed by the White House, and first among states in percentage of received vaccine doses administered as of Tuesday, at 87 percent, according to the CDC Data Tracker.

“We’re grateful to all North Dakotans, including our medical, education and business communities, for their actions that have contributed to these positive results,” Burgum said. “We continue to use a data-driven approach to navigate this pandemic, and all data indicates North Dakota is heading in the right direction. To continue these positive trends, we encourage North Dakotans to keep using the tools that got us here: physical distance, wear a mask when you can’t distance, get vaccinated when it’s your turn, get tested and, if positive, seek out monoclonal antibody treatments, which can dramatically reduce hospitalization and mortality rates if administered at the right time to eligible patients.”

Burgum encouraged residents to observe local protocols, including local mask requirements, and to get vaccinated when it’s their turn, to stay healthy, protect the vulnerable and keep children in school.