ND posts new daily record for COVID-19 infections

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota remained as one of the worst spots in the nation for coronavirus spread on Thursday, with health officials reporting a record day of new infections.

North Dakota’s daily positivity rate topped 13% , with 1,038 new virus cases. Nine new deaths were reported on Thursday, bringing the statewide death toll from the virus to 431.

The deaths included seven men and two women, all in their 60s or older.

Gov. Doug Burgum has resisted issuing an order to require a statewide mask mandate. City leaders in Fargo and Minot this week moved to require face coverings in most settings, though the mandates are not enforced. Leaders in Bismarck are expected to consider a similar mandate next week.,

The COVID Tracking Project reported that North Dakota has had more than 1,224 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, which leads the nation. The rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by more than 73% in the lasts two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Hospitalizations stood at 156, which was up four from the last update.

There were 224 available staffed inpatient beds plus 17 intensive care unit beds in North Dakota, according to state data.