Active cases of coronavirus hit a new high in North Dakota on Thursday, four months after Gov. Doug Burgum declared a state of emergency in mid-March as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold in the state.
There are 783 confirmed active cases of the disease in the state, up 66 from the previous day, according to the Department of Health. Active cases include 184 in Burleigh County -- up 16 from the previous day -- and 42 in Morton County, up three.
The record number of active cases statewide is based on daily data reported by the state. Health department officials often revise the numbers later as they receive new information, and they reflect the revisions on their website. The highest number of active cases reported in one day -- with the exception of several days of results in late May that were impacted by equipment malfunctions at the state lab -- was 739 on May 7.
The increase in active cases in the state has coincided with the reopening of businesses such as bars and restaurants, and an uptick in testing.
State officials on Thursday also reported the first death in Mountrail County -- a woman in her 60s with underlying conditions. That raises the state total to 89.
The department reported 108 new cases in 19 counties, including 22 in Burleigh and four in Morton, raising the state total since the start of the pandemic to 4,668. Total cases in Burleigh County since the state of the pandemic hit 500 on Thursday, with another 144 in Morton County.
Burleigh County has led the state in active cases much of this month, and state officials are monitoring the situation to see if a task force will become necessary, as it was in the Red River Valley when Fargo and Cass County bloomed into a hot spot in late spring.
The number of people in North Dakota tested for coronavirus at least once is at 128,056; total tests number 242,778.
A total of 285 people statewide have been hospitalized since the start of the pandemic, with 38 remaining so on Thursday, down four from the previous day. There were 36 new recoveries reported, boosting that total to 3,796.
Most people who get COVID-19 recover, experiencing only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. Others, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, can experience more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.
For more information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to health.nd.gov/coronavirus.
Reach Blake Nicholson at 701-250-8266 or email@example.com.