North Dakota tops 93,000 virus cases since start of pandemic

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota health officials on Sunday confirmed 161 new cases of the coronavirus, from a limited number of reported tests that is typical for the end of a weekend.

Officials said 1,611 tests were processed in the last day, for a positivity rate of more than 10%. A total of 93,041 COVID-19 cases have been registered since the start of the pandemic.

There were about 409 new cases per 100,000 people in North Dakota over the past two weeks, which ranks 47th in the country for new cases per capita, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. One in every 495 people in North Dakota tested positive in the past week.

The death count in comparison to the rest of the country remains high, although no new deaths were recorded in the last day. The state ranks fourth highest per capita at about 172 deaths per 100,000 people, researchers said.

There were 18 deaths listed in Saturday’s report, which included numbers over a two-day period because of the New Year’s holiday.

Hospitalizations rose by six in the last day, to 98. Figures compiled Saturday show there are 40 staffed intensive care beds and 401 staff inpatient beds available throughout the state.

North Dakota’s statewide mask mandate remains in effect until Jan. 18.