Active cases of COVID-19 in the Bismarck region have climbed above 200 for the first time in two months, and coronavirus-related hospitalizations statewide are continuing a steady rise.
On the flip side, the state Health Department on Thursday did not report a virus-related death for the 12th time in the past 13 days. North Dakota's pandemic death toll remains at 1,468.
State officials reported 201 new COVID-19 cases from 8,813 tests handled Wednesday, and calculated a daily positivity rate of a relatively low 3.42%. Since the onset of the pandemic in North Dakota in March 2020, there have been 104,364 confirmed cases, with 101,660 recoveries and 3,989 hospitalizations.
Thirty-three virus patients remained in a hospital Thursday. The number has been rising since late last month, when it was in the teens. But state data show there are more than 2,000 available staffed beds across the state.
Active COVID-19 cases rose again, to 1,236 statewide and to 213 in Burleigh-Morton counties. That's the highest local number since Jan. 18, when there were 239 active cases.
About 454,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed in North Dakota, to more than 253,000 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.