North Dakota's coronavirus pandemic death toll rose by seven over the weekend, and COVID-19 hospitalizations surpassed 200.
Active virus cases dropped to 3,736 on Monday, however, a decline of 749 from Friday's reported total and the lowest level in two weeks. The active case total for Burleigh-Morton counties fell by 280 from Friday, to 902, according to the state's coronavirus dashboard.
North Dakota's virus-related death total rose to 1,642. The state no longer publicly reports the county, sex and age range of newly confirmed deaths, but the dashboard totals for Burleigh and Morton counties each rose by one, to 221 and 105, respectively.
There were 211 COVID-19 patients in hospitals on Monday, up 27 from Friday. Hospitalizations have risen by more than one-third in the past week and by close to two-thirds in the past two weeks.
Hospital capacity has been a concern in North Dakota for weeks due to the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus and staffing shortages. The most recent state data showed 207 available staffed inpatient beds and 14 available intensive care unit beds statewide. In Bismarck, neither Sanford Health nor CHI St. Alexius Health had any beds listed in either category.
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The dashboard showed 230 new virus cases confirmed from 1,639 tests completed Sunday -- a day of the week when testing typically slows. The Health Department calculated a positivity rate of nearly 15%. The state's 14-day rolling average test positivity rate remained just above 8%. It has been above the state target of less than 5% for nearly eight weeks.
There have been 138,181 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Dakota during the pandemic, with 132,803 recoveries and 5,508 hospitalizations.
The state's vaccine dashboard shows 54.1% of eligible North Dakota adults and 31.8% of adolescents in the 12-18 age group are considered fully vaccinated. North Dakota has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S., according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People can go to https://www.ndvax.org or call 866-207-2880 to see where COVID-19 vaccine is available near them.
The coronavirus transmission risk is considered substantial or high in all 53 North Dakota counties, according to the CDC's COVID-19 data tracker website. The CDC recommends people in those risk categories wear masks in public indoor settings.
A list of free COVID-19 testing offered by local public health units is at health.nd.gov/covidtesting. For more detailed information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus. For more information on coronavirus variants, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant.html.