Active cases of coronavirus in North Dakota dropped for a second straight day on Thursday, but health officials reported the state's 103rd death related to COVID-19.
The Ramsey County woman in her 80s had underlying health conditions, according to the state Department of Health. It was the second COVID-19 death in that county, which is home to Devils Lake.
Active cases statewide have dropped from a high of 1,084 on Tuesday to 1,017. They also have dropped in Burleigh and Morton counties, though Burleigh continued to lead the state on Thursday with 279. There were another 72 active in Morton.
State and local officials this week announced they are forming a task force to address a steep rise in cases in the Bismarck-Mandan region this month tied the reopening of the economy and an increase in testing. Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Director Renae Moch on Wednesday said younger adults -- those in their 20s and 30s -- are driving the increase because they're more active in the community. She also said part of the reason for the recent surge in cases is that the area is now seeing the effects of large Fourth of July holiday gatherings.
The task force is being modeled after one created in early May in the Red River Valley after Cass County and Fargo bloomed into a hot spot. The outbreak there has lessened in recent weeks. Active cases Thursday numbered 129 -- less than half of Burleigh's total -- though Cass led the state in new cases with 22.
State health officials on Thursday reported a total of 75 new coronavirus cases in 25 counties, including 11 in Burleigh and two in Morton, pushing the statewide total since the start of the pandemic to 6,301. There have been 356 hospitalizations and 5,181 recoveries. Forty-three people remained hospitalized Thursday, up four from the previous day. The number of people in North Dakota tested for coronavirus at least once is at 151,861, and total tests number 304,978.
Testing next week
Custer Health will conduct free public drive-thru testing at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Carson on Monday. It's open to all ages on a first come-first served basis from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. MDT, or until testing supplies are exhausted.
Testing will be conducted on the east side of the Grant County Fair Building. People are asked to travel north off 69th Street Southwest onto Idaho Street, east onto Railroad Avenue, then turn south on the road by Montana Street.
Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health will conduct free public drive-thru testing at the Bismarck Event Center on Tuesday. It's open to all ages on a first come-first served basis from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CDT, or until testing supplies are exhausted.
People must enter Parking Lot D south of the Event Center from Seventh Street. Testing will be conducted inside the center.
Custer Health also will conduct testing at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan on Wednesday. That event will run from 1-3 p.m. or until supplies are exhausted.
People should approach the site from the southeast on Longspur Trail. Longspur Trail is accessible by Redwing Drive and 32nd Avenue Southeast, both off Memorial Highway in Mandan. After being tested, people will exit onto 24th Avenue Southeast and travel north.
Preregistration for all three events is available at https://testreg.nd.gov/. It speeds up the process but does not guarantee a test.
For more information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to health.nd.gov/coronavirus.
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