Active cases of COVID-19 in the Bismarck-Mandan region have more than doubled in the past two weeks.
The state Health Department on Wednesday reported 194 active cases in Burleigh-Morton counties, an increase of 131% from March 24. In that same time period, active cases statewide have increased nearly 50%, to 1,171 on Wednesday.
Kirby Kruger, director of the Health Department's Disease Control Division, has attributed the recent spike to pandemic fatigue, spring weather and public gatherings.
Cass County, home to Fargo, is at the center of the increase, with more than 500 active cases. The Health Department on Wednesday reported 77 new cases there, along with 32 new cases in Burleigh, contributing to a daily state total of 196. State officials calculated a positivity rate of 5.1% from 5,374 tests completed Tuesday.
The new cases brought North Dakota's pandemic total to 104,167, with 101,528 recoveries, 3,975 hospitalizations and 1,468 deaths. No new coronavirus-related deaths were reported for the 11th time in the past 12 days. Thirty virus patients remained in a hospital, unchanged from the previous day.
About 442,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed in North Dakota, to about 250,000 people. Two of the three available vaccines require two doses, weeks apart.
All North Dakota counties are in the green "low" 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. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/38npUYV.
The state's COVID-19 Smart Restart County Analysis data dashboard can be accessed at www.health.nd.gov/healthmetrics. A list of free testing offered by local public health units is at health.nd.gov/covidtesting. People can go to health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator or call 866-207-2880 to see where COVID-19 vaccine is available near them.
For more detailed information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus.