The COVID-19 test positivity rate is falling in North Dakota; February will be the ninth-deadliest month | Health
The COVID-19 test positivity rate is falling in North Dakota;  February will be the ninth-deadliest month |  Health

The COVID-19 test positivity rate is falling in North Dakota; February will be the ninth-deadliest month | Health

The positivity rate for COVID-19 tests in North Dakota over a rolling 14-day period has fallen below state targets for the first time since last summer.

Wednesday’s course, reported at the Ministry of Health coronavirus dashboard Thursday was 4.72%, below the state target of less than 5%. The last time this threshold was reached was August 24, 2021. The rate rose to a pandemic level of 19.69% just five weeks ago as the highly contagious omicron variant of the virus caused an increase in cases, but the increase has plummeted this week.

The state reported 673 active COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a 37% drop in just the past three days. Active cases reached a pandemic record of 11,991 reported January 22 at the height of the omicron wave. It’s been seven months since the total was as low as it was on Thursday.

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Active cases in Burleigh-Morton counties have dropped to less than 200 compared to more than 1,000 a month ago.

On the negative side, the dashboard reflected a further six virus-related deaths, raising February’s total number to 77. Monthly totals lag because state law allows up to 10 days for death certificates to be filed.

The state no longer reports public county, gender, and age group for recently confirmed deaths. But the total dashboard for Burleigh County has hit 300, with a further 142 in neighboring Morton. The total number for state-owned Cass County, home of Fargo, is 330.

Nationwide COVID-19 hospital admissions were at 61 on Thursday. The latest stat data showed that about 11% of the manned hospital beds were available throughout the country, and about 11.5% of the beds in intensive care units were open. In Bismarck, CHI St. Alexius Health 15 open nursing beds and four available intensive care beds; Sanford Health had two hospital beds and an ICU bed.

There have been 238,505 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Dakota during the pandemic, including 146 new cases reported Thursday. There have been 235,627 healings, 7,817 hospitalizations and 2,205 deaths.

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 Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency’s data show that 65.2% of adults in the state are fully vaccinated. The rate for all vaccine-eligible individuals in the state – 5 years and older – is 58.6%. The national average is 75% and 69.1%, respectively.

The CDC also recommends COVID-19 booster shots for people ages 12 and older. In North Dakota, 41.6% of people in that age group have received a booster. The national rate is 45.4%.

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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