BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health has reached another milestone in testing for COVID-19, eclipsing 200,000 total tests conducted in the state.

The department announced 37 new cases of the virus in the state Sunday, July 5. Eleven new cases were registered in Cass County, while Bismarck's Burleigh County added nine cases. Williams County recorded four new cases, Stark County added three and Walsh County tallied two new cases. Barnes, Cavalier, Dunn, Grand Forks, Morton, Ramsey, Stutsman and Ward counties each recorded one new case.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Dakota has the eighth fewest cases of COVID-19 of any state in the county, ranking ahead of Hawaii, Alaska, Montana, Vermont, Wyoming, West Virginia and Maine.

For the fifth consecutive day, deaths in the state held constant at 80. Sixty-nine deaths list COVID-19 as the primary cause of death, while 11 are pending death records or list the virus as a secondary cause. The state has also reported nine deaths of individuals who were presumed to be COVID-19 positive.

Statewide, known active cases increased for the 13th consecutive day. On June 22, active cases dropped to levels last seen in mid-April before beginning a sharp upward trend. Active cases now stand at 412 across the state, mirroring numbers from late May and marking a 92% increase since June 22.

Cass County is home to 125 active cases, representing 0.06% of all residents and accounting for roughly three in 10 active cases in the state. Statewide, active cases represent 0.05% of the population.

Some of the increase in state-reported cases can be attributed to an increase in testing access. Over the past month, Gov. Doug Burgum has urged residents to participate in the state's mass-testing events regardless of whether or not they show COVID-19 symptoms. In the past week, the state conducted an average of 3,439 cases and twice surpassed 4,000 daily tests.

The state has managed to contain deaths in long-term care facilities, which has held at 56 over the past week. The state reported 35 cases of the virus across long-term care residents and staff. Villa Maria in Fargo currently has six cases among residents and four among staff, leading the state.

Nationwide, the CDC has reported 2,789,678 cases and 129,305 deaths attributed to the virus.

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