Active cases of COVID-19 have climbed to a new high in North Dakota for a 12th straight day.
More than one-third of the 5,837 active cases are in Burleigh and Cass counties, both of which saw significant numbers of new cases reported Monday -- 115 in Burleigh and 218 in Cass, home to Fargo.
The state Department of Health also reported two more deaths in Burleigh -- men in their 40s and 70s with underlying medical conditions. Their deaths and those of a Hettinger County woman in her 80s and a Towner County man in his 100s, both with underlying conditions, brought the state's pandemic death toll to 408.
Health officials reported 662 new virus cases. There were 153 hospitalizations, also a record. There were 263 available staffed inpatient beds plus 25 intensive care unit beds in North Dakota on Monday, according to state data. There were 11 available staffed beds plus one ICU bed in Bismarck: 10 beds but no ICU at CHI St. Alexius Health, and one bed plus one ICU at Sanford Health.
Statewide, there have been 32,637 cases since the onset of the pandemic in mid-March, 26,392 recoveries and 1,267 hospitalizations. The number of state residents tested for coronavirus at least once is at 272,737 and total tests number 770,510, including 8,452 handled Sunday.
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The Associated Press reported that there were about 1,069 new cases per 100,000 people in North Dakota over the past two weeks, which ranks first in the country for new cases per capita, according to figures compiled Saturday by Johns Hopkins University researchers.
Burleigh, Morton and 14 other North Dakota counties are in the orange "high risk" level on the state's five-level color-coded system; 15 are in the yellow "moderate risk" level; 17 are in the green "low risk" level; and five are in the blue "new normal" level. The risk level determines what sort of coronavirus-related protocols are in place under the ND Smart Restart Plan for everything from businesses to family gatherings. The guidelines are not enforced.
The state's COVID-19 Smart Restart County Analysis data dashboard can be accessed at www.health.nd.gov/healthmetrics. For more detailed information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to health.nd.gov/coronavirus.
Reach Blake Nicholson at 701-250-8266 or email@example.com.