October 26, 2021
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Four additional COVID-19-related deaths occurred over the weekend in North Dakota, but state health officials say the number of active coronavirus cases continues a downward trend.
Health officials on Monday reported fewer than 200 news cases sending the number of active cases to 3,030, the lowest level in more than a month. Cases statewide have been trending downward after a recent spike that began in late summer with the onset of the highly contagious delta variant, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
The coronavirus transmission risk is considered substantial or high in all of North Dakota’s 53 counties, except for Cavalier, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 data tracker website. The CDC recommends people in those risk categories wear masks in public indoor settings.
The state’s 14-day average positivity rate dropped below 7% for the first time in a month, to 6.9%, health officials reported. The rate steadily rose from a recent pandemic low of 1% on July 5 to nearly 9% on Oct. 7, but it has been slowly declining since. The state target is less than 5%. The reported rate hasn’t met that threshold since Aug. 16.
Deaths and hospitalizations have been slower to fall. COVID-19 hospitalizations remained high on Monday, at 173, but it was the lowest reported total in nearly three weeks. Still, fewer than 9% of staffed inpatient beds statewide were available. About 7% of intensive care unit beds were available.