Active COVID-19 cases in North Dakota at the lowest level in six months; admissions fall below 100 | Health
Active COVID-19 cases in North Dakota at the lowest level in six months;  admissions fall below 100 |  Health

Active COVID-19 cases in North Dakota at the lowest level in six months; admissions fall below 100 | Health

Active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota have plunged to their lowest level in six months, just one month after rising to a pandemic height.

Ministry of Health coronavirus dashboard showed 1,337 active cases on Monday, the lowest reported number since 1,231 on 18 August. Cases began to rise in North Dakota last fall due to the onset of the delta variant of the virus, and then increased early this year when omicron – an even more contagious variant – muscular delta.

Active cases hit a state record of 11,991 reported on January 22nd. They have since steadily fallen. Monday’s low total was probably due in part to a typical drop in tests over the weekend – only 616 tests were processed on Sunday, resulting in 60 new virus cases. But omicron is declining around the country. Health authorities say it is running out of people to infect.

Modeling of the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a dramatic tail of new COVID-19 cases both nationally and in North Dakota. The state has seen its 14-day rolling test positivity rate drop from a pandemic high of 19.69% to 8.63% in less than a month. The state target is less than 5%, which was last met in August.

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Federal modeling suggests the same declining trends for COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations. Both of these categories have seen increases due to omicron, but not at the level of increase in cases, as omicron generally causes milder symptoms than delta.

COVID-19 hospital admissions in North Dakota peaked at 332 on November 16, 2020 before vaccinations. During the delta wave, they rose to a high of 211 reported on October 11th. Under omicron, they hit 184 on January 31st. On Monday, they were at 94, the lowest number since early September.

The latest stat data showed that about 11.5% of the manned hospital beds were available throughout the country, and about 9% of the beds in intensive care units were open. In Bismarck, CHI St. Alexius Health eight open general care beds and two available intensive care beds; Sanford Health had one inpatient bed but no ICU beds.

No new virus-related deaths were reported on Monday or Sunday. Two deaths were reported on Saturday’s dashboard. The state no longer reports public county, gender, and age group for recently confirmed deaths. The total number of deaths in the Burleigh County dashboard increased by one to 296; Morton County’s total remained at 140. The total number for Governor Cass County, home of Fargo, increased by one to 325.

North Dakota saw an increase in deaths late last year and early this year in the midst of the delta wave, but deaths have dropped this month. There have been 47 so far in February, less than half of the January total.

There have been 2,174 virus-related deaths in North Dakota during the pandemic that began in March 2020. There have been 236,955 confirmed virus cases in the past two years, with 233,444 cures and 7,755 hospitalizations.

State case data includes only clinically verified tests. Results of home tests that have recently become widely available do not need to be reported to the state and thus are not included in the totals.

Pandemic records are based on the Ministry of Health’s daily reports. The agency often revises data on its dashboard later based on updated information.

More information

North Dakota still has one of those worst COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country according to the CDC. The agency’s data show that 65.1% of adults in the state are fully vaccinated. The rate for all vaccine-eligible individuals in the state – 5 years and older – is 58.5%. The national average is 74.8% and 68.8%, respectively.

The CDC also recommends COVID-19 booster shots for people ages 12 and older. In North Dakota, 41.4% of people in that age group have received a booster. The national rate is 44.7%.

The risk of coronavirus transmission is considered significant or high in all of North Dakota’s 53 counties except Grant, Sheridan, Renville and Burke, according to the CDC. COVID-19 data tracking site. The CDC recommends people in these risk categories to wear masks in public indoor environments.

People can go to https://www.ndvax.org or call 866-207-2880 to see where COVID-19 vaccine is available near them. A list of free COVID-19 tests offered by local public health agencies is on health.nd.gov/covidtesting. This site also shows where free home test kits are offered. For more detailed information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus. For more information on coronavirus variants, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant.html.

Call Blake Nicholson at 701-250-8266 or [email protected].

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