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5 things to know today: ND voter turnout, stress on hospitals, ND Democrats, UND theater students, Camp Quarantine

Voters practice social distancing at the Grafton Armory on Election Day. Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

1. North Dakota sets record for ballots cast, but not percentage of voter turnout

As of Wednesday, Nov. 4, North Dakota election officials had tallied about 363,000 ballots cast in the general election held Tuesday, Nov. 3, setting a record for sheer volume of ballots received.

That number will continue to grow as ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 2 arrive at courthouses around the state.

2. Doctors spell out stress on hospitals: 'We North Dakotans are in crisis'

North Dakota's largest hospitals are facing a severe shortage of available beds as COVID-19 hospitalizations converge with strains on health care staffing and high non-coronavirus admissions.

There are just 12 available intensive care beds in the entire state, according to the latest figures reported by the North Dakota Department of Health. Most of the 195 open inpatient beds in the state are in rural hospitals, which often don't have the capability to care for patients with serious ailments.

3. Why Trump's 2020 dominance in North Dakota signals long road for state Democrats

The fate of the 2020 presidential election was still hanging in the balance by Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 4, but President Donald Trump’s sustained appeal in North Dakota was clear early on election night.


While Trump’s wide victory in North Dakota came as little surprise to most viewers, it dashed Democratic hopes that the pandemic’s toll could put a dent into the president’s iron grip on the state.

4. UND students write, film, edit original play about 2020

The coronavirus pandemic not only moved UND’s courses online last spring, but also halted theater productions for the campus. Left to decide how to fill their schedule this fall, UND theater students and faculty got together and brainstormed ideas about a topic close to everyone: the highs and lows of 2020.

“Once the World Stopped” follows a group of high school students 30 years into the future learning about the many events of 2020. Mr. Silverside, the class substitute, takes the class on a journey to the past through his experiences, stories and interactive assignments.

5. Camp Quarantine: 6 tips for forming your COVID-19 winter pod

Winter has arrived in Minnesota. With the coming snow and plunging temperatures comes a sense of dread for the months of social isolation ahead.

One strategy for getting through this time of social distancing, when it’s harder to to gather outside, is to form a pod.

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