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Active COVID-19 cases in North Dakota at lowest level in 3 months; 3 deaths reported over weekend

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Active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota over the weekend dropped to the lowest level in about three months.

The 2,517 active cases reflected on the Health Department's coronavirus dashboard Monday represented a drop of nearly 500 from Friday and were the least since 2,442 cases were reported on Sept. 1. Nearly one-fifth of the active cases are in Burleigh and Morton counties.

Testing typically drops off during the weekend, and Monday's dashboard showed a relatively low 152 new cases from 1,590 tests completed Sunday. But the 14-day rolling average test positivity rate, at 7.38%, remained well above the state target of less than 5%.

COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by three from Sunday, to 166. The most recent state data showed about 11% of staffed inpatient beds available statewide and about 10% of intensive care unit beds open -- the highest percentages in recent weeks. CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck had six available staffed general care beds and two open ICU beds. Sanford Health Bismarck had 20 available inpatient beds but no ICU beds listed.

No new virus-related deaths were reported Monday, but three were confirmed over the weekend. The state no longer publicly reports the county, sex and age range of newly confirmed deaths. The dashboard death total for Burleigh County increased by one, to 258; Morton County's total was unchanged, at 125.

There have been 161,453 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Dakota during the pandemic, with 157,059 recoveries and 6,445 hospitalizations. 

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The state's vaccine dashboard shows 57.1% of eligible North Dakota adults and 34.9% of adolescents in the 12-18 age group are considered fully vaccinated; 9.2% of children 5-11 have received an initial vaccine dose. Shots for that age group just recently got underway. People can go to https://www.ndvax.org or call 866-207-2880 to see where COVID-19 vaccine is available near them.

The coronavirus transmission risk is considered substantial or high in all of North Dakota's 53 counties except Logan, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 data tracker website. The CDC recommends people in those risk categories wear masks in public indoor settings.

A list of free COVID-19 testing offered by local public health units is at health.nd.gov/covidtesting. For more detailed information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus. For more information on coronavirus variants, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant.html.

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