Active cases of COVID-19 reached a new high in North Dakota for a fifth straight day Monday, while the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations continued a steady rise.
The Department of Health also reported the deaths of six more people, in Emmons, Dunn, Nelson and Traill counties, raising the state's pandemic total to 345. All of the new victims had underlying medical conditions, according to the state.
Active cases rose by 120 from the previous day, to 4,546. Burleigh and Morton counties have nearly 1,000 active cases, as does Cass County, home to Fargo. A month ago, active cases statewide stood at 2,758.
Hospitalizations increased by 14, to 158. A week ago, the number was 112, and a month ago it was 65.
Hospital capacity is a concern around North Dakota. There were 253 available staffed inpatient beds plus 29 intensive care unit beds in North Dakota on Monday, according to state data. There were three available staffed beds plus one ICU bed in Bismarck, all at Sanford Health. CHI St. Alexius Health had none.
Health officials on Monday reported 475 new cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 48 in Burleigh, 12 in Morton and 90 in Cass, raising the state total since the onset of the pandemic in mid-March to 27,737. Burleigh over the summer had supplanted Cass as the state's hot spot, but Cass has seen a resurgence in cases in recent weeks.
Statewide, there have been 22,846 recoveries and 1,099 hospitalizations. The number of state residents tested for coronavirus at least once is at 260,339 and total tests number 717,732, including 5,599 handled Sunday.
Burleigh and Morton counties are in the yellow "moderate" risk level, which is in the middle of 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 protocols are not enforced.
Twenty-two other North Dakota counties are at yellow, 23 are in the green or "low" risk level and six are in the blue "new normal" level. The state reviews the county risk levels on a weekly basis.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.