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67 more coronavirus cases reported in North Dakota; tests top 50,000 since pandemic began

67 more coronavirus cases reported in North Dakota; tests top 50,000 since pandemic began

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Gov. Doug Burgum discusses North Dakota's coronavirus statistics, including 665 active cases, at the state Capitol on Thursday.

North Dakota reported 67 more cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with the vast majority in the eastern half of the state and just several in the west.

The hot spot of Cass County, home to Fargo, had 57 new cases of the coronavirus. Six more were reported in Grand Forks County. Burleigh, Mountrail, Williams and Richland counties each had one new case.

The virus has infected 1,712 North Dakota residents total, with 665 of those cases remaining active. Active cases rose by 27 from the previous day.

The number of North Dakotans tested for the virus has topped 50,000. Thursday's data came from a batch of 1,366 tests processed Wednesday, bringing the state total to 50,311 tests since the pandemic began. Of the testing results reported Thursday, 4.9% came back positive, higher than the overall rate since testing began of 3.4%.

North Dakota has conducted an additional 2,300 tests this week but has not included the results in the daily reports the state releases with the latest coronavirus case data, Gov. Doug Burgum said at a press conference Thursday.

Those additional tests were administered to people who have been tested previously, such as nursing home residents or staff and health care workers, in an effort to track the spread of the virus across more vulnerable populations. Burgum said he anticipates more people will be tested multiple times as the pandemic continues, and the state will change the way it reports testing data to reflect people in that situation.

Burgum's own test results will be included in that data. He said he has been tested three times so far: once on Wednesday during a visit to the White House; the day before in North Dakota to make sure the result came back negative before he flew to Washington, D.C.; and one more time within the past week after someone at a recent meeting of the state Industrial Commission tested positive.

Although North Dakota is ranked second in the nation in per-capita testing, Burgum said, "we've got more work to do if we're going to get to 4,000 or 6,000" tests per day -- goals he set for this month and June.

Two more people have been hospitalized in North Dakota with severe cases of COVID-19. Statewide, 38 people are in the hospital receiving treatment for the disease. Gov. Doug Burgum has stressed that the state has adequate hospital bed capacity given the relatively low number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the state so far. This spring, 129 people have been hospitalized with the virus in North Dakota.

Recoveries from COVID-19 also reached a milestone Thursday, as 38 new recoveries raised the state total to more than 1,000 since the start of the pandemic. Officials report that 1,007 residents have recovered after becoming infected with the virus.

The state's virus death toll remains at 40.

Standing Rock testing results

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reported this week that two people tested positive for the coronavirus at a testing event held last Saturday in Fort Yates.

One person is a resident of Morton County, while the other lives on the reservation.

The event tested 482 essential workers and Standing Rock residents.

More tests were administered Thursday in the Bear Soldier District in the McLaughlin, S.D., area of the reservation, the tribe said on its Facebook page.

Reach Amy R. Sisk at 701-250-8252 or amy.sisk@bismarcktribune.com.

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