BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Monday, June 22, announced 25 new cases of COVID-19.

For one of the few times in the last two months, Cass County, which includes Fargo, did not have the highest number of new cases Monday. Just five of the new cases Monday came from Cass County. The county now has had 2,143 known cases, but the department reports that 90% of the residents who once had the illness in the county have recovered.

The highest number of new cases came in Sioux County, which had seven more diagnoses. Sioux County lies south of Bismarck and includes the entire North Dakota portion of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Before last week, the reservation had largely avoided the spread of COVID-19, but it now has 17 active cases just in North Dakota.

The state has prioritized mass testing on the reservation, completing more than 1,250 tests in the county with fewer than 4,500 residents. Other American Indian tribes, including the Navajo Nation in the southwestern U.S., have seen some of the worst outbreaks of the virus in the country.

Four of the new cases came from Burleigh County, which encompasses Bismarck. The county now has 51 active cases, the second most in the state.

Another four new cases came in Grand Forks County, which now has 23 active cases.

The other five new cases Monday came from Cavalier, Dunn, Ramsey, Richland and Ward counties.

The department says 77 North Dakotans have died from the illness, all but 13 of whom were residents of Cass County. Fifty-six of the deaths have come in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Medical professionals listed COVID-19 as the official cause of death for 66 of the state's victims. Eight were determined to have died primarily because of another condition while infected with COVID-19, and three death records are still pending. The department also notes that six people not included in the official death count were presumed to have died from COVID-19 but did not test positive while they were alive.

North Dakota, which ranks among the top states in the country in testing per capita, announced 2,227 test results Monday. The figure is far below the state's testing goals, but weekends often produce lower testing numbers.

Over the last month, the state's testing capacity has outgrown its demand for testing under a fairly strict criteria, so officials have opted to open up testing to the general public. Gov. Doug Burgum said last week the state can now process 5,000 tests per day, and he urged members of the public to seek testing at mass testing in the state's largest metro areas. He also said the state would work with large businesses to test employees and colleges to test returning students.

A total of 3,313 North Dakota residents have tested positive, but 2,952 have recovered. There are 31 residents hospitalized with the illness.

The state has announced the results of 158,199 tests, but some residents have been tested more than once. Burgum said the state is performing regular testing of those living and working in nursing homes.

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