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Weekly COVID-19 cases in North Dakota at lowest level since last spring

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Weekly COVID-19 cases in North Dakota have dropped below 1,000 for the first time since last spring.

The state Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus dashboard, updated every Friday, showed 981 new cases in North Dakota in the previous seven days, compared with 1,043 the previous week. The last weekly total below 1,000 was 960, reported May 27.

Mutants of the omicron coronavirus variant drove a summer spike in cases, but they have been on the decline for about two months.

There were 174 new cases in Burleigh-Morton counties over the week, down from 183 the previous week.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determines county risk levels based on COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalization data. They can be found at Three North Dakota counties -- Grant, Mercer and Emmons -- are at high risk this week. Fourteen including Burleigh and Morton are at medium risk, and 36 are at low risk.

The CDC recommends that people in high-risk areas wear a mask indoors in public, and that people in medium-risk areas who have conditions that make them prone to severe illness wear a mask.

The state's weekly coronavirus dashboard is meant to provide a look at longer-term trends and also the severity of disease. Coronavirus patients continue to make up a small portion of occupied hospital beds in the state -- 3.1% of occupied inpatient beds and 4.7% of intensive care unit beds. There were 60 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in North Dakota over the past week, down from 67 the previous week.

Federal data shows no new virus-related deaths in North Dakota over the week, keeping the state's pandemic total at 2,364. CDC death data fluctuates from week to week due to lags in reporting. County-level death data is not available. There have been 269,306 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Dakota during the pandemic that began in March 2020.

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Federal data shows that 67.6% of North Dakota adults are fully vaccinated, with the rate for all vaccine-eligible people -- age 5 and older -- at 61.2%. The national averages are 77.6% and 72%, respectively. 

COVID-19 booster shots are recommended for people 12 and older. North Dakota's first booster rate is 47%, compared to 50.3% nationally.  

Go to or or call 866-207-2880 to see where COVID-19 vaccine is available. Information on free public testing and free test kits is at State Health Department guidance and resources for businesses is at More detailed pandemic information is at and

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An attorney for North Dakota has asked the state Supreme Court to strike down an injunction that had blocked the state’s abortion ban, saying a lower court judge was wrong to grant it. Attorney Matthew Sagsveen told justices on Tuesday that Judge Bruce Romanick “misconstrued the law” by granting the injunction. Romanick’s ruling means abortion is still legal in North Dakota, though the state’s only clinic has moved to neighboring Minnesota. Clinic Attorney Meetra Mehdizadeh argued that vacating the injunction would be “extraordinary.” She says patients, doctors and hospitals in North Dakota are still at risk even though the clinic has moved.

The North Dakota attorney general’s office says a judge did not use a “rational mental process” when determining there was a “substantial probability” that a constitutional challenge to the state’s abortion ban would succeed. The state says there are errors in South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick’s opinion that prevents the ban from going into effect until the heart of the lawsuit by a Fargo abortion clinic is resolved. Attorneys for the Red River Women’s Clinic says Romanick properly considered the arguments and there’s no need to “rectify errors and prevent injustice,” as the appeal requires. The state Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for next week on whether Romanick’s preliminary injunction putting the ban on hold should remain in place.

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