BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Wednesday, Sept. 8, reported 637 new positive COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths.

The number of positive cases reported on Wednesday is more than double that reported the day before. The increase is likely a result of a lack of reporting over Labor Day weekend, as the number of tests conducted statewide often fluctuates on the weekends and holidays.

Nearly 30% of the 637 positive COVID-19 cases reported on Wednesday were among North Dakotans under 20 years of age, according to Department of Health data.

The number of active COVID-19 cases reached 2,714 known positives on Wednesday— a slight increase from the day before.

Statewide case rates

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  • NEW CASES REPORTED WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 8: 637
  • ACTIVE CASES*: 2,714
  • DAILY POSITIVITY RATE: 6.33%
  • TOTAL KNOWN CASES THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC: 120,602
  • TOTAL RECOVERED THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC: 116,321

*The Department of Health often amends the number of active cases after they are first reported.

Cass County, which encompasses Fargo, has the most known active cases in the state with 579. Burleigh County, which includes Bismarck, had 484 known cases as of Wednesday, and Grand Forks County had 242.

However, the number of active cases per 10,000 residents is higher in western North Dakota, with McKenzie County, which encompasses Watford City, reporting the most active cases per 10,000 with 92. Cass County has 32 active cases per 10,000 residents.

The state's 14-day rolling average positivity rate was 6.48% as of Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Since June 27, there have been 259 cases of reinfection.

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 94

  • DEATHS: 3

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 1,567

As of Wednesday, two people who are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 are 0 to 5 years old.

The Department of Health began releasing data about breakthrough cases last month. A breakthrough case occurs when a person tests COVID-19 positive after they are fully vaccinated. During the week of Aug. 29, the state reported 15 hospitalizations where the person was fully vaccinated and 67 hospitalizations where the person was not fully vaccinated.

Vaccinations

  • FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED*: 352,602 (53.2% of population ages 12 and up)

  • FULL VACCINE COVERAGE*: 324,714 (49% of population ages 12 and up)

*These figures come from the state's vaccine dashboard, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which includes vaccinations performed at federal sites, reports slightly higher vaccination rates.

Even though a person can be infected with COVID-19 after they are fully vaccinated, the health officials emphasize that those who are inoculated often experience less severe symptoms have a less likely chance of being hospitalized.

Almost 325,000 North Dakotans have been fully vaccinated, and 0.0453% were hospitalized due to COVID-19, according to the Department of Health.

The chance to become infected with COVID-19 also decreases when a person is vaccinated.

In North Dakota, one in 134 fully vaccinated people have tested COVID-19 positive, compared to one in 14 unvaccinated individuals, according to the Department of Health.

The Department of Health encourages individuals to get information about vaccines at www.health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator.

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Readers can reach reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at mgriffith@forumcomm.com.