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North Dakota COVID-19 hospitalizations up as active cases crest 4,000 again

The state's two week rolling average positivity rate has also climbed steadily in recent weeks, reaching 7.8% on Tuesday, more than a point higher than a month ago.

A coronavirus graphic. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

BISMARCK — North Dakota's active COVID-19 cases pushed back above 4,000 on Tuesday, Oct. 5, as virus hospitalizations continue to hold near their highest point since last December.

The state's six largest health care centers have struggled to accommodate the demands of smaller rural facilities in recent weeks, as rising delta hospitalizations, noncoronavirus admissions and staffing shortages have converged to push hospitals to critical capacity.

Last week, Gov. Doug Burgum and top North Dakota doctors urged residents to make healthy decisions to avoid putting additional strain on the state's already struggling hospital system .

The following are the North Dakota case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations as of Tuesday. Because all data is preliminary, some numbers and totals may change from one day to the next.

Statewide case rates

  • ACTIVE CASES: 4,093

Children under age 12, a demographic not yet eligible for vaccination, accounted for 640 of North Dakota's active cases on Tuesday, as well as four of the state's virus hospitalizations. More than a quarter of North Dakota's active cases are residents under 20 years old.
Cass County, which includes Fargo, had the most known active cases on Tuesday with 833. Burleigh County, which encompasses Bismarck, had 827 active cases, and Ward County, which includes Minot, had 313.


The state's 14-day rolling average positivity has climbed to 7.8%, more than a point higher than in early September and its highest level since December 2020.

Hospitalizations, deaths


  • DEATHS: 2

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 1,623

The Department of Health updated figures on Tuesday to reflect a higher number of recent hospitalizations than has been previously reported. According to the latest data, North Dakota hit a recent high of 178 virus hospitalizations late last week. Hospitalizations remain near their highest level since last September, dropping slightly to 166 in recent days.
Three of the state's active hospitalizations were children five or younger, while two children between six and 14 were also hospitalized as of Tuesday.

A total of 17 staffed ICU beds were available statewide as of Sunday, according to a state health department database. Bismarck's two hospitals had just one ICU bed and no inpatient beds available. Fargo had 10 ICU beds and 20 inpatient beds.


  • FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED: 367,981 (55.4% of population ages 12 and up)

  • FULL VACCINE COVERAGE: 341,647 (51.5% of population ages 12 and up)

The Department of Health encourages individuals to get information about vaccines at .

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Readers can reach reporter Adam Willis, a Report for America corps member, at

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