In a message sent Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Williston Police Department reminded the public of Gov. Doug Burgum’s mask order and other executive orders designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The mask order, issued Friday, requires masks inside businesses and other public spaces, as well as outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible. The message from the department asks people to follow the measures Burgum instituted. Burgum asked police to prioritize education about why masks prevent the spread of COVID-19, but violations could result in a fine.

“The Williston Police Department encourages all the residents, business owners, managers and visitors to our great city to follow these new measures set by Governor Burgum,” the message reads. “This will allow our officers to continue to respond to calls for service and emergency responses while helping slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Williston Police Department will coordinate its efforts with the State Attorney when a reported violation occurs. For egregious violations, putting the public health at risk, those violators can be cited for an infraction, that can carry a fine of up to $1,000.”

The message also pointed out there are exemptions to the order, which are available online at

The message came one day after a letter from McKenzie County Sheriff Matthew Johansen indicated he would not enforce the mask order.

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