BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Monday, Sept. 21, reported new pandemic highs in active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as 287 new infections.
Health officials also confirmed the death of a Rolette County man in his 80s. Like the vast majority of North Dakotans who have succumbed to the illness, the man had underlying health conditions, according to the department.
The department says 193 North Dakotans have died from the illness, including 50 residents whose deaths have been announced just in September alone.
More than half of the state's deaths have come in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. There still are three additional deaths that remain in a "presumed positive" category, which means a medical professional determined that COVID-19 was a cause of death but the person was not tested for the illness while he or she was alive.
There are now 3,210 residents known to be infected with the virus, marking a new pandemic high. North Dakota, which surpassed 3,000 active cases over the weekend, leads the nation in new COVID-19 cases per capita over the last week, according to the New York Times.
The number of hospitalized residents rose by six from Sunday to 87 — also a pandemic high. Twenty-three patients are in intensive care.
Forty-six of the new cases reported Monday came from Cass County, which includes Fargo. The state's most populous county has 528 active cases. North Dakota State University has reported 105 cases of COVID-19 in the last two weeks.
Grand Forks County reported 42 new cases, bringing the county to 263 active cases. The University of North Dakota says 44 students, faculty and staff have recently self-reported testing positive for the virus.
Forty-one of the new cases came from Burleigh County, which encompasses Bismarck. The county has the most active cases in the state with 611. Morton County, which sits just west of Burleigh County and includes Mandan, reported 16 new cases and has 251 active cases.
Williams County, which includes Williston, reported 25 new cases Monday, bringing the county's active case count to 203.
Seventeen of the new cases Monday came from Stark County, which includes Dickinson. The county now has 320 active cases.
Stutsman County, which encompasses Jamestown, reported 13 new cases, bringing its active case count to 83.
Thirty-five counties reported at least one case Monday, including many small, rural counties. All but three of the 53 counties in the state have at least one active case.
About 8.8% of the 3,247 residents tested as part of the latest batch received a positive result, but 11.5% of residents tested for the first time got a positive result.
North Dakota does not report a seven-day rolling average for positivity rate, but Forum News Service calculated the rate to be 6.3% for all residents tested and 11.2% for tests taken on previously untested residents.
The state's positivity rate has risen in the last week no matter how it's measured.
Meanwhile, interim State Health Officer Paul Mariani lifted on Monday a 14-day quarantine requirement for residents returning from international travel. Many countries still have restrictions on Americans visiting for non-essential travel given the severity of the outbreak in the United States. Borders with Canada and Mexico remain closed to nonessential travel.
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