BISMARCK — North Dakota officials encourage residents to use the state's financial assistance and behavioral health programs as the number of COVID-19 cases rises with the delta variant surge.

Programs launched earlier in the pandemic — including financial aid, support for health care workers living with grief, and assistance with child care — are available for North Dakotans, the state Department of Human Services said in a statement.

“The rising numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations reported on the North Dakota Department of Health’s dashboard mean that the need for pandemic-related programs and services that we put in place last year will continue and likely increase,” Chris Jones, Department of Human Services executive director, said in the statement.

North Dakotans struggling to pay rent can apply for the ND Rent Help program, which provides rent assistance and payment for past-due utility bills.

The Department of Human Services said it enhanced its behavioral health crisis response services to offer 24-hour help, including the 211 statewide crisis line.

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More information about assistance programs can be found at helpishere.nd.gov.