BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced on Tuesday, Feb. 23, that inmates and staff members at its facilities have started to receive its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Getting vaccinated is voluntary, and the state says all inmates will get educational materials about the vaccines to make an informed decision. All facilities should have the first rounds of the vaccine completed by the end of this week, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

As North Dakota continues to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 500 inmates have tested positive for the virus so far. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation attributes the case count to the natural congregate settings of correctional facilities.

“Making the vaccine available for both our staff and the residents in our care brings us one step closer to normalcy and resuming visitation,” said Dave Krabbenhoft, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's interim director said on Tuesday, adding that "many" are choosing to get vaccinated.

Almost all COVID-19 vaccine providers are administering doses up to priority group 1B, according to the North Dakota COVID-19 Vaccine Locator. Priority group 1B includes people in congregate settings, people with underlying health conditions, school employees and older individuals, among others.

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Following are the North Dakota Department of Health COVID-19 case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations as of Tuesday. Because all data is preliminary, some numbers and totals may change from one day to the next.

Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES: 105
  • TOTAL ACTIVE CASES: 691
  • TOTAL CASES: 99,416
  • TOTAL RECOVERED: 97,286
  • DAILY TEST POSITIVITY RATE: 3.4%

North Dakota's active case count declined by 19 on Tuesday, continuing the downward trend the state has seen since mid November. Twenty-six of the new cases came from Cass County, while 13 came from Burleigh County.

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 31

  • DEATHS, NEWLY REPORTED: 1

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 1,439

The North Dakota Department of Health on Tuesday reported the death of a Stutsman County man in his 80s. Hospitalizations dropped by seven over the last day.

Vaccinations

  • FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED: 112,933 (15.4% of population)

  • COMPLETED SERIES (two doses): 61,319 (8.4% of population)

The state continues to be a national leader in vaccine distribution, with more than 94% of the received doses already having been administered. The health department urges residents to seek more information at www.health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator.

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