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North Dakota health officials report low number of new COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving

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A light day of testing on Thanksgiving led to only 174 new COVID-19 cases being confirmed in North Dakota, down from an average of 619 the previous three days.

The state Health Department's coronavirus dashboard on Friday also indicated no new coronavirus-related deaths, after 22 were reported the previous three days. That made November the sixth-deadliest of the 21 pandemic months in North Dakota, with 82 total deaths so far.

The new COVID-19 cases were from 3,967 tests on Thursday, compared with an average of 9,516 tests the previous three days. State officials calculated a positivity rate of 4.65%. The state's 14-day rolling average test positivity rate was at 7.36%. The state target of less than 5% hasn't been met for more than three months.

COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped by three from Thursday, to 178. The most recent state data showed about 9% of staffed inpatient beds available statewide and about 6% of intensive care unit beds open. CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck had 14 available staffed general care beds, and Sanford Health Bismarck had six. Neither hospital had any open ICU beds listed.

There have been 160,724 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Dakota during the pandemic, with 155,842 recoveries and 6,409 hospitalizations. 

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The state's vaccine dashboard shows 57% of eligible North Dakota adults and 34.7% of adolescents in the 12-18 age group are considered fully vaccinated; 8.3% of children 5-11 have received an initial vaccine dose. Shots for that age group are just getting underway. 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 of North Dakota's 53 counties except Towner, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention'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.

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