Active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota dropped for an eighth straight day, but hospitalizations neared a record.
The state's Department of Health on Monday reported 6,477 active cases of the virus, down 360 from the day before. Eight more people were hospitalized, for a total of 331, near the record 332 set earlier in November.
As of Monday afternoon, there were 14 available staffed intensive-care beds and 246 available staffed non-ICU beds in North Dakota. CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck had two available ICU staffed ICU beds and 12 available staffed non-ICU beds. Sanford Health in Bismarck had no available staffed ICU beds and two available staffed non-ICU beds.
The department also reported seven new deaths of people with COVID-19, of five women and two men ranging in age from their 60s to 90s in Foster, Grand Forks, Morton, Pembina, Sioux and Ward counties. North Dakota's COVID-19 death toll stands at 927.
November has logged 361 of the deaths, the deadliest month so far for North Dakota in the pandemic.
Health officials also reported 598 new cases of COVID-19 in 45 counties, including 109 diagnoses in Burleigh and Morton counties, which have a combined 1,262 active cases. The neighboring counties have logged a combined 190 deaths related to COVID-19.
The number of state residents tested for coronavirus at least once is at 350,217 and total tests number 1,144,256, including 7,777 reported Monday. The state has found 79,252 positive cases since March, 71,848 of whom have recovered.
A statewide mask mandate is in effect, along with enforced capacity restrictions for bars, restaurants, and various event venues. Violations could be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. Repeat violations could lead to a fine up to $1,500 and 30 days in jail. For more information, go to bit.ly/38NiT4r and bit.ly/3kDdVtb.
All North Dakota counties are in the orange "high risk" level on the state's five-level color-coded system. The risk level determines coronavirus-related protocols in place under the ND Smart Restart Plan for everything from businesses to family gatherings. Those protocols are not enforced.
The state's COVID-19 Smart Restart County Analysis data dashboard can be accessed at health.nd.gov/healthmetrics. Information on COVID-19 in K-12 schools is at health.nd.gov/k-12-school-dashboard. For more detailed information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to health.nd.gov/coronavirus.
Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or email@example.com.