BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Tuesday, Jan. 26, reported 1,008 active cases and four additional COVID-19 deaths.

North Dakota reported 1,082 active cases as of Monday, Jan. 25, according to the Department of Health, and this is the lowest number of active cases since August.

Although the number of coronavirus cases continues to decline nationwide, health experts warn the spread of COVID-19 variants could cause surges in new cases, as some of the variants have shown to be more contagious than the ones commonly found in the United States. On Monday, Minnesota reported the nation's first Brazil COVID-19 variant, which is known to be more transmissible. Minnesota health officials were able to identify it through a disease surveillance program.

Tuesday's reported deaths included a Burleigh County man in his 60s, a Cass County man in his 60s, a Golden Valley County woman in her 90s and a Stark County man in his 80s.

The additional deaths bring the state's overall pandemic death toll to 1,415 North Dakotans. Almost 64% of the state's COVID-19 victims were in their 80s and older.

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The majority of the state's deaths have come in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities with 839 deaths reported as of Tuesday.

Officials urge people to continue mask-wearing and social distancing and to remain vigilant in reducing COVID-19 spread even though more people continue to get COVID-19 vaccinated everyday.

North Dakota continues to administer COVID-19 vaccinations statewide, with more than 81,000 doses administered as of Monday, Jan. 25, according to the state's Department of Health.

The department reported 135 new cases on Monday, including:

  • 21 from Burleigh County, which includes Bismarck.
  • 21 from Ward Count, which includes Minot.
  • 19 from Cass County, which includes Fargo and West Fargo.

About 4.4% of the 3,089 residents tested as part of the latest batch received a positive result, and the average positivity rate of those tested in the last two weeks is about 3.2%.

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Readers can reach Forum News Service reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at mgriffith@forumcomm.com.