BISMARCK — North Dakota health officials reported seven COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, Sept. 21, as the highly contagious delta variant of the virus continues to spread through communities with low vaccination rates.

The latest surge has put the state on a trajectory for a harsh fall. North Dakota has about 300 more active cases now than it did at the same time last year, and hospitals are already stretched for capacity with higher-than-normal noncoronavirus admissions.

Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES REPORTED TUESDAY, SEPT. 21: 632

  • ACTIVE CASES*: 3,104

  • DAILY POSITIVITY RATE: 8%

  • TOTAL KNOWN CASES THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC: 126,642

  • TOTAL RECOVERED THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC: 121,945

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

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North Dakota's active cases increased by 129 from the previous day, continuing a monthlong trend of detected infections rising after low weekend testing. Active cases have multiplied more than sixfold since the beginning of August.

Burleigh County, which includes Bismarck, has the most known cases in the state at 696 as of Tuesday. Cass County, which encompasses Fargo, has 547 cases, and Grand Forks County has 227. Rural Hettinger County lead the state in cases per capita.

The state's 14-day rolling average positivity rate is 6.4%, where it has hovered since late August.

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 124

  • DEATHS: 7

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 1,593

The state Department of Health reported seven COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, including two in Burleigh County and one each in Ward, Mountrail, McKenzie, Ransom and Wells counties. The 28 deaths reported in September represent the highest monthly death toll since January.

During the week of Sept. 12, the state reported only 15 of the 92 COVID-19 hospitalizations came in fully vaccinated residents.

Vaccinations

  • FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED*: 361,316 (54.6% of population ages 12 and up)

  • FULL VACCINE COVERAGE*: 333,514 (50.4% 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.

North Dakota ranks in the bottom 10 states in vaccination rate for eligible residents, according to the CDC, but younger residents have begun to accept immunizations in greater rates as the delta variant tears through the state.

More information about vaccines can be found at www.health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator.

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