BISMARCK -- Gov. Doug Burgum has directed government agencies to fly the U.S. and North Dakota flags at half-staff until sunset Sunday, May 24, "as a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the coronavirus pandemic," the governor's office said in a press release.

The governor’s directive is in accordance with a proclamation issued late Thursday by President Donald Trump. The governor's office also encourages North Dakotans to do the same at their homes and businesses, the release said.

“Kathryn and I extend our deepest condolences to every North Dakota family and community grieving the loss of a loved one to this global pandemic,” Burgum said in a statement. “This weekend, we remember and honor those we have lost to COVID-19, and we reaffirm our commitment to a Smart Restart that protects the lives and livelihoods of all North Dakotans while emphasizing personal responsibility and caring for our fellow citizens.”

As of Thursday, the North Dakota Department of Health reported 51 individuals had died while infected with COVID-19, including 38 who died from the disease, six whose death certificate listed something other than COVID-19 as the official cause of death, and seven cases in which the official death record was pending.

Across the United States, more than 93,000 have died, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.