BISMARCK — Each day has brought record-breaking COVID-19 statistics in North Dakota as the state continues to lead the nation in COVID-19 spread and deaths per capita.

The North Dakota Department of Health reported a record-high number of active COVID-19 on Monday, Nov. 2, and another record of 215 residents statewide currently hospitalized because of COVID-19.

On Oct. 2, the state reported 3,158 residents known to be infected with COVID-19. As of Monday, at least 8,440 residents were infected by the virus. This is a 167% increase in active COVID-19 cases in one month.

The state also announced nine new COVID-19 deaths Monday. October was North Dakota's deadliest month by far as it saw 265 residents die in the fall month alone. More deaths are likely to be added to the state's official October death toll as death investigations conclude, but October has seen twice as many deaths as September so far.

The deaths announced Monday included two men from Dickey County, two women from Stutsman County and one each from Burleigh, Dunn, McLean, Morton and Sargent counties. All were in their 50s to 90s.

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At least 326 of the state's deaths have come in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, many of which have seen skyrocketing cases among residents and employees in the last month.

Hospital bed capacity continues to remain tight, with only 19 available staffed ICU beds and 206 available staffed in-patient beds available statewide, according to the latest numbers from the North Dakota Department of Health.

Cass County, which includes Fargo and West Fargo, has 1,371 residents known to be infected with the illness — the most of the state's 53 counties. It announced an additional 231 cases Monday.

Grand Forks County announced 157 new cases on Monday, which brings the county's active cases to 1,001. The University of North Dakota reported that 129 students, staff and faculty members have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks.

Ward County, which encompasses Minot, reported an additional 122 positive COVID-19 cases Monday and now has the third-highest number of active cases among North Dakota's counties with 1,188 residents known to be infected with the virus.

Burleigh County, which includes Bismarck, announced another 105 positive cases Monday, and there are now 1,243 residents infected with COVID-19 in the county.

Nearly 13% of the 7,725 residents tested as part of the latest batch received a positive result, but 24% of residents tested for the first time got a positive result.

North Dakota does not report a seven-day rolling average for positivity rate, but Forum News Service calculated the rate to be about 13% for all residents tested and about 24% for tests taken on previously untested residents.

Readers can reach reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at

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