BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Department of Health on Monday, Aug. 31, reported 114 new cases of COVID-19 on an unusually low testing day.
The department also confirmed the death of a Grand Forks County man in his 50s. Like the vast majority of North Dakotans who have succumbed to the illness, the man had underlying health conditions, according to the department.
The department says 143 North Dakotans have died from the illness. Seventy-seven of the deaths have come in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. There still are four deaths that remain in a "presumed positive" category, which means a medical professional determined that COVID-19 was a cause of death but the person was not tested for the illness while he or she was alive.
About 5.9% of the 1,920 test results announced Monday came back positive, but 9.2% of residents tested for the first time received a positive result.
North Dakota does not report a seven-day rolling average for positivity rate as many other states do, but Forum News Service calculated the rate to be 11% for tests taken on previously untested residents. It's the highest such rate this month.
The state's positivity rate has risen sharply in the last week no matter how it's measured.
There are now 2,378 North Dakotans known to be infected with the virus — a drop from Sunday's pandemic high, however the low testing figure reported Monday means the state didn't find as many new cases. North Dakota has reported a new pandemic high in active cases 11 days in the last two weeks.
The number of hospitalized residents rose by two from Sunday to 70. Seventeen patients are in intensive care.
Twenty-nine of the new cases came from Burleigh County, which encompasses Bismarck. The county emerged as one of the state's hot spots over the last two months and has the second most active cases with 454. Morton County, which sits just west of Burleigh County and includes Mandan, reported nine new cases and has 127 active cases.
Sixteen of the new cases reported Monday came from Cass County. The state's most populous county has 245 active cases.
Grand Forks County reported 14 new cases Monday, bringing the county to a state-high 536 active cases. Many of the cases from the county reported in the last two weeks are believed to be tied to the University of North Dakota, which aims to test all students, faculty and staff as the fall semester begins. The university reports that 199 students, faculty and staff have tested positive and another 695 people linked to the university are in quarantine.
Twenty-three counties reported at least one case Monday, including many small, rural counties. All but three of the 53 counties in the state have at least one active case.
The department has also confirmed 30 cases in the state tied to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that took place earlier this month in western South Dakota. Attendees at the annual rally largely ignored COVID-19 preventative measures like mask-wearing and social distancing.
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