BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Health on Thursday confirmed 12 additional cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. This brings the total number of positive cases in the state to 19.

Most of those cases are in central North Dakota, with 11 cases in Burleigh County, four in Morton County, three in Ward County and one in Cass County.

“In the last 24 hours our numbers have doubled,” said State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte. “This underscores the importance of practicing social distancing and following the president’s recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The seven previously reported North Dakota cases include:

  • Two Ward County men in their 60s.
  • A Cass County woman in her 20s.
  • A Burleigh County man in his 50s.
  • A Burleigh County woman in her 20s.
  • A Morton County woman in her 30s.

  • A Morton County female between the ages of 10 and 19.

One of the Ward County men confirmed to have COVID-19 is at Minot Air Force Base, military officials said Wednesday, March 18.

The man, who is in his 60s, is not a member of the military and was confirmed to have coronavirus on Tuesday, according to a base spokesperson. The case was first announced by state officials, who said the man had a history of travel to an area with a high concentration of cases.

To address the shortage of nylon swabs, the health department has recommended to health care providers that testing be prioritized for the following groups:

  • Patients hospitalized with respiratory illness.
  • Those living or working in congregate settings.
  • Health care workers.
  • Testing for public health investigators and contact tracing.

Those who think they may have COVID-19 but have minor symptoms should self-isolate at home. Those seeking medical attention should call before they go in.

Symptoms of COVID-19 in people who have been exposed can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.

Every state now has at least one confirmed case of COVID-19. Minnesota has 89 positive cases in the following counties: Anoka, Benton, Blue Earth, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Martin, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Ramsey, Renville, Rice, Scott, Stearns, Waseca, Washington, Wright.

South Dakota has 14 positive cases and one death.

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