The deaths came from across the state, including four from Burleigh County, three from Stark County, two from Bottineau County, two from McHenry County and one each from the counties of Cass, Grand Forks, McLean, Morton, Towner, Ward and Williams. All the victims were at least 60 years old and had underlying health conditions.
The department says 388 North Dakotans have succumbed to the disease since March, and deaths have risen at a rapid pace over the past two months. The state averages more than seven COVID-19 deaths a day in October, setting it at pace to be by far the most deadly month of the pandemic.
At least 245 of the state’s deaths have occurred in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, many of which have been decimated by the virus in the past two months. Seven facilities have 1
There are now 5,247 North Dakotans known to be infected with the virus. This is the ninth day in a row that the state has set a new record, and for the first time the number has exceeded 5,000.
North Dakota has reported the most COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita. Population in the country over the past week, according to The New York Times. The entire region is experiencing an increase in cases where South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Montana and Minnesota are all identified by publication as states where infections are “high and remain high.”
The number of hospitalized patients due to the disease rose to 148 on Friday. A further 69 patients were initially hospitalized with another disorder but were later tested positive for COVID-19. 39 residents with the virus are in intensive care.
North Dakotans being transferred outside the state for medical treatment are not being tracked by the health department, spokeswoman Nicole Peske said.
The state is struggling through a shortage of available hospital beds as COVID-19 hospital admissions converge with healthcare burdens and high coronavirus-free admissions. There are 19 intensive care beds available and 236 regular 24-hour beds throughout the state.
The situation is particularly gloomy in Bismarck, where the two hospitals have a vacant ICU bed and five hospital beds in between.
Fargo’s three hospitals have a total of five open ICU beds and 17 hospital beds, while Grand Forks’ Altru Hospital reports that it has two ICU beds and 18 hospital beds.
The health department reported a record 877 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. All but 10 of the state’s 53 counties reported at least one new case.
Cass County, which includes Fargo, reported as many as 213 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. The state’s most populous county has seen an increase in new infections in the last two weeks and now has the most active cases in the state by 1,045. That’s more than all of North Dakota had as late as mid-August.
Grand Forks County, which has seen a recent increase in infections, reported 113 new cases, bringing its active number up to 400.
Burleigh County, which includes Bismarck, reported 108 new cases Friday. The county has the second most active cases in the state with 890. Morton County, which sits just west of Burleigh County and includes Mandan, reported 29 new cases and has 315 active cases.
The state’s three largest metro areas account for about half of the active cases in the state.
Ward County, which includes Minot, reported 116 new cases Friday. The county, which sees its most serious outbreak so far, now has the third most active cases in the state 445.
Approximately 10% of the 8,761 residents tested as part of the most recent batch had a positive result, but 17% of the residents tested for the first time had a positive result.
North Dakota does not report a seven-day rolling average for positivity rate, but the Forum News Service calculated the rate at 9.2% for all residents tested and 16.1% for tests taken on previously untested residents. Both prices are the highest since the Forum News Service began tracking the numbers in early August.
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