The climb in coronavirus cases across North Dakota showed no sign of slowing Wednesday as the state set its eighth consecutive daily record for active cases, reaching 11,656.
Active cases have more than doubled in the past month, according to state data.
Another 12 North Dakotans have died with COVID-19, including residents in their 80s and 90s from Burleigh, Cass, McHenry, Mountrail, Nelson, Ramsey, Ransom, Stutsman and Ward counties, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. The state's virus death toll is 686.
The health department reported 1,039 new cases Wednesday for a daily positivity rate of 18.17%, as calculated by the state.
Burleigh County had 116 new cases and Morton County had 38. Cass County, home to Fargo, had the most at 341, and Ward County, home to Minot, also reported a significant number at 137.
The Associated Press reported that North Dakota continues to lead the nation in daily new COVID-19 cases per capita in the nation, with one in every 83 residents of the state testing positive for the virus in just the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. There were 2,265 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 The COVID Tracking Project.
Active cases in Burleigh and Morton reached a record Wednesday at 2,205.
The data includes the results of 6,098 tests processed in labs Tuesday.
The health department reported incomplete data Tuesday because of a software program malfunction that was later resolved, according to spokeswoman Nicole Peske. The department also experienced problems with its public coronavirus dashboard, which was not available for much of Tuesday and early Wednesday. That was due to a broader issue with a Microsoft business analytics service, Peske said.
The number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 in North Dakota is 254, the same number the state reported Monday.
In Bismarck, Sanford Health and CHI St. Alexius Health each had one staffed intensive care unit bed available, according to a state database. Sanford had two non-ICU staffed beds open and CHI St. Alexius had six. Statewide, there were 12 ICU beds open and 182 non-ICU beds.
All North Dakota counties are in the orange "high risk" level on the state's five-level color-coded system. 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 reviews the county levels weekly, and on Monday elevated 20 counties from the yellow "moderate risk" level. Thirty-three counties including Burleigh and Morton were already at orange.
Mask mandates are in effect in Bismarck and Mandan, and for county property in Burleigh and Morton counties. More information is at: www.bismarcknd.gov/bismarckstrong, www.cityofmandan.com/news, www.mortonnd.org/policies and https://www.burleighco.com/news/detail.asp?newsID=268.
The state's COVID-19 Smart Restart County Analysis data dashboard can be accessed at www.health.nd.gov/healthmetrics. Information on COVID-19 in K-12 schools is at https://www.health.nd.gov/k-12-school-dashboard. For more detailed information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to health.nd.gov/coronavirus.
Reach Amy R. Sisk at 701-250-8252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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