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COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb in North Dakota; 8 more deaths reported statewide

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb in North Dakota; 8 more deaths reported statewide

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COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Dakota hit another new high on Friday, and state health officials reported eight more coronavirus-related deaths.

Those deaths included three Burleigh County men -- one in his 60s and two in their 90s -- and a Morton County woman in her 80s. The four area deaths raised the regional total since the start of the pandemic to 87 -- 20 of which have been reported this week.

Other deaths reported Friday were a Benson County man in his 70s, a Cass County woman in her 90s, a Dunn County man in his 80s and a McHenry County woman in her 100s.

All of the newly confirmed victims had underlying medical conditions, according to the state Department of Health. They raised the statewide death total to 264. Deaths are not necessarily reported on the day they occur or the day after -- death certificate filings can take up to 10 days under state law.

State officials reported 111 hospitalizations on Friday, up five from the previous daily high on Thursday. There have 902 COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Dakota since mid-March.

Health officials on Friday reported 477 new COVID-19 cases including 81 in Burleigh County and 32 in Morton, raising North Dakota's pandemic total to 22,694, with 18,691 recoveries. Active cases stood at 3,739, with Burleigh having a state-high 684. Morton had 238 active cases.

The number of state residents tested for coronavirus at least once is at 244,312 and total tests number 649,885.

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.

Fourteen other North Dakota counties are at yellow, 25 are in the green or "low" risk level and 12 are in the blue "new normal" level. The state reviews the county risk levels on a weekly basis. They did not change this week.

The North Dakota Department of Health launched the COVID-19 Smart Restart County Analysis data dashboard this week. It provides to the public data for three criteria the state uses to determine county risk levels.

Those criteria are active cases per 10,000 residents, tests per 10,000 residents and test positivity rate, all on a 14-day rolling average. Those criteria are reviewed weekly and are used in conjunction with deaths, hospitalization rates, population density and other factors to decide county risk levels.

Users can view individual county data to see what risk level the county falls under for each metric. The dashboard can be found 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 blake.nicholson@bismarcktribune.com.

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