BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health reported 936 new COVID-19 infections across the state and eight new deaths from the illness Saturday, Oct. 24.

The vast majority of new cases emerged in the state's largest metropolitan areas, with Bismarck's Burleigh County (164), Grand Forks County (142), Fargo's Cass County (121) and Minot's Ward County (117) each post triple-digit new case figures. Ward County's 117 new cases matched a single-day high recorded on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Mandan's Morton County posted 50 new cases and Williston's Williams County reported 43 new cases. Rolette and Wells counties both recorded single-day highs with 22 and 20 new cases, respectively. Benson, Dickey, McLean, Mountrail, Richland, Stutsman and Walsh counties also reported double-digit new cases.

New cases numbered eight or fewer in Adams, Barnes, Billings, Bowman, Cavalier, Dunn, Eddy, Foster, Grant, Griggs, Hettinger, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McHenry, McKenzie, Mercer, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Ransom, Renville, Sargent, Sheridan, Sioux, Steele, Towner and Traill counties.

The new cases came from 7,763 tests, marking a daily positivity rate of 12.7%. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Dakota has reported 101.9 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week, leading the nation.

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The eight new deaths were three Ward County men, two Ward County women, a Grand Forks County man, a Pierce County man and a Williams County woman. The deceased were all over the age of 60.

Citing feedback from local public health authorities and the medical community, Gov. Doug Burgum said Friday, Oct. 23, that the Department of Health will no longer report whether or not those who die with or from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions.

The deaths moved the state's death toll from COVID-19 to 448. Three hundred forty list the virus as the primary cause of death while 108 others list it as a secondary cause or are pending death records. The mortality rate for those who have become infected stands at 1.2%.

Active cases dropped by 53 from Friday's pandemic-high of 6,363 to 6,310. With 1,165, Cass County leads the state in active cases. Burleigh County follows closely behind with 1,037 active cases.

Grand Forks County totaled 720 active cases Saturday, marking an increase of 161% over the past two weeks. The University of North Dakota reported 157 active positive cases among students, faculty and staff Saturday.

Ward County's active cases numbered 659 Saturday, a 148% increase from two weeks prior.

Morton County and Williams County tallied 333 and 212 active cases, respectively. Stark, Stutsman, McLean, McKenzie and Mercer counties each had 100 or more active cases Saturday.

Nationwide, the CDC reported 8,387,047 total COVID-19 cases and 222,447 total deaths from the virus as of Friday afternoon.

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