Burleigh and Morton counties have surpassed 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the month of September with half the month to go, and state health officials on Tuesday also reported two more deaths in the region where coronavirus continues to spike.
A Burleigh man in his 80s and a Morton man in his 80s brought the counties' COVID-19-related death total since the start of the pandemic to 36 and the statewide total to 172. Both men had underlying medical conditions, according to the state Department of Health.
The agency reported 235 new coronavirus cases in 36 counties, including 79 in Burleigh and 30 in Morton. The two counties have seen a spike in cases in recent weeks. About 29% of their total cases since mid-March have been confirmed just this month.
Active cases statewide declined by 194 from Monday's all-time high, to 2,564. Burleigh continued to lead the state in active cases, with 545. Morton had 218. Active cases in the two counties have risen 47% since the start of the month.
The area active cases include 10 staff and 16 students in the Bismarck public school system, according to the district's COVID-19 dashboard that's updated weekly. Mandan Public Schools on Tuesday reported active cases in 10 students and two staff.
Statewide there have been 16,064 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 13,328 recoveries and 657 hospitalizations. Sixty-two people remained in a hospital Tuesday.
The number of North Dakotans tested for coronavirus at least once is at 220,645 and total tests number 547,945, including 2,038 tests completed Sunday.
Burleigh and Morton counties on Tuesday remained 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.
Six other North Dakota counties were at yellow, 13 were in the blue "new normal" level, and 32 were in the green or "low" risk level. The state reviews the county risk levels on a weekly basis. They did not change this week.
For more detailed information on county risk levels and on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to health.nd.gov/coronavirus.
Reach Blake Nicholson at 701-250-8266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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