North Dakota health officials on Friday reported daily highs for COVID-19 tests, daily cases, active cases and hospitalizations, along with four new deaths in Morton County. The death toll statewide surpassed 500.
Active cases soared to 7,275. They've increased by more than 1,000 in the past two days. Active cases in Burleigh and Morton counties also reached a pandemic high for the second consecutive day, at a combined 1,579.
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations statewide increased again, to 191. A week ago, they were at 168.
There were 16 staffed intensive care beds and 211 staffed inpatient beds available in North Dakota on Friday, according to state data. Sanford Health Bismarck had one staffed intensive care bed and three staffed inpatient beds available. CHI St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck had one staffed intensive care bed and two staffed inpatient beds available.
The health department on Friday reported 13 more deaths across the state, pushing the pandemic total to 512. A Morton County man and woman in their 80s and two women in their 90s were among the new deaths, which also included victims in the counties of Bottineau, Grand Forks, Grant, Logan, Mountrail, Rolette, Traill and Williams. Morton County's death total is now 54, with 78 more in Burleigh.
The state reported 1,357 new COVID-19 cases statewide, up from the previous record of 1,222 set a day earlier. The new cases included 187 in Burleigh and 79 in Morton, and they pushed the state's pandemic total to 42,483.
The COVID Tracking Project reported that North Dakota has had 5,510 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, which leads the nation, according to The Associated Press. The rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by more than 42% in the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.
Friday's results came from a record 11,848 tests completed Thursday. The number of state residents tested for coronavirus at least once since the onset of the pandemic in mid-March is at 291,938 and total tests number 857,502. Statewide, there have been 34,696 recoveries and 1,586 hospitalizations.
Records are based off the state's daily reports. Data on the health department's dashboard often is revised later.
Risk level and mandate
Burleigh, Morton and 22 other North Dakota counties are in the orange "high risk" level on the state's five-level color-coded system; 15 are in the yellow "moderate risk" level; 14 are in the green "low risk" level; and none are in the blue "new normal" level.
The risk level determines what sort of coronavirus-related protocols are in place under the ND Smart Restart Plan for everything from businesses to family gatherings. The guidelines are not enforced. The state reviews the county levels weekly. Officials this week moved 21 counties up a level.
A mask mandate passed by the Bismarck City Commission takes effect Sunday. It is not enforced and carries no penalties.
“Now is the time for us to come together as a community to implement mitigation measures to reduce active cases and positivity rates in Burleigh County,” Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Director Renae Moch said Friday.
The state's COVID-19 Smart Restart County Analysis data dashboard can be accessed at www.health.nd.gov/healthmetrics. Information on COVID-19 in K-12 schools is at https://www.health.nd.gov/k-12-school-dashboard. For more detailed information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to health.nd.gov/coronavirus.
Reach Blake Nicholson at 701-250-8266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.