BISMARCK — North Dakota reported 11 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, Oct. 22, as high virus cases have continued to strain the state's hospitals. Earlier in the week, North Dakota surpassed 1,700 total virus deaths, while October became the state's deadliest month of the pandemic in 2021.

Thursday evening, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized booster shots from recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. North Dakotans who received first doses of the Pfizer vaccine were already eligible for boosters, and in its latest authorization the CDC also approved options to "mix and match" between the brand of an individual's first two doses and the booster shots.

The following are COVID-19 case rates, deaths and hospitalizations tracked by the North Dakota Department of Health as of Friday, Oct. 22. Because all data are preliminary, some numbers and totals may change from one day to the next.

Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES REPORTED FRIDAY, OCT. 22: 571
  • ACTIVE CASES: 3,600
  • DAILY POSITIVITY RATE: 7.2%
  • TOTAL KNOWN CASES THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC: 144,088
  • TOTAL RECOVERED THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC: 138,774
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Cass County, which encompasses Fargo, had the most known active cases on Friday, with 758 cases. Burleigh County, which includes Bismarck, had 445 active cases, and Stark County, which includes Dickinson, had 358.

As of Friday, children under 12, an age group that is not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, accounted for 630 of the state's active cases. More than a quarter of North Dakota's active cases are in residents under 20 years old.

The state's 14-day rolling average positivity rate is 7.1%, down from over 8% earlier this month.

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 183

  • DEATHS: 11

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 1,714

At 183 people, virus hospitalizations remain high in North Dakota, though they have fallen from recent highs in the 200s earlier this month. As of Thursday, there were 15 available staffed ICU beds statewide, according to a Department of Health database, with six ICU beds and six inpatient beds available between Fargo's three hospitals. There were no beds of any kind available in Bismarck.

Vaccinations

  • FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED*: 375,862 (56.4% of population ages 12 and up)

  • FULL VACCINE COVERAGE*: 350,928 (52.7% 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.

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Readers can reach reporter Adam Willis, a Report for America corps member, at awillis@forumcomm.com.