By Associated Press - Friday, July 3, 2020

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said he’s easing restrictions on access to public buildings, many of which were closed to residents because of the coronavirus.

Mahoney’s order will open all City Hall departments to the public and increase capacity in the city commission chambers from 25% to 50%, for a maximum of 125 people in the chambers at one time. All public library locations in the city will be open to the public.

Thursday’s order also calls for buses in Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota to operate for free.

The changes go into effect July 13.

Fargo has been the COVID-19 hot spot in North Dakota, where most of Cass County’s 2,800 cases have been confirmed. The state’s interim health officer said the county has seen “significant improvement” because of proactive work by a governor-appointed task force, large-scale and focused testing events and contact tracing.

North Dakota health officials on Friday reported 65 new COVID-19 cases statewide, including 18 in Cass County. There have been 3,722 cases in North Dakota since the pandemic began. No new deaths were reported.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

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