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Sanford Health opens new unit at Bismarck hospital

BISMARCK (AP) — Sanford Health opens a new unit at its Bismarck hospital Wednesday, adding 14 more beds.

Sanford says it’s not exclusively for coronavirus patients, but it could be used to treat them if the need arises. Six of the 14 beds in the new unit opening Wednesday are designated for intensive care patients.

The expansion at Sanford Bismarck gives the hospital 242 beds. The new unit is on the main floor, where the adult physical, occupational and speech therapies were located.

Sanford Health and CHI St. Alexius employees listed concerns about hospital capacity at the Burleigh-Morton COVID-19 Task Force meeting last week.

There have been nearly 678 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in North Dakota over the past two weeks, which ranks first in the country for new cases per capita, according to The COVID Tracking Project.