BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health reported 944 new positive COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

A "minor reporting technology issue" caused a backlog in the number of new positive cases on the state's COVID-19 Dashboard, the Department of Health said in a statement on Wednesday. The 944 positive cases reported Wednesday include some data from the previous day, though the Department of Health noted North Dakota is experiencing a rise in positive cases statewide.

Active COVID-19 cases in North Dakota increased by 526 compared to the previous day. More than 32% of North Dakota's 3,235 active cases are among residents under 20 years of age. On Wednesday, 161 of the new positive cases reported were among children under 12 — an age group that is not eligible to get inoculated against the virus.

Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES REPORTED WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 15: 944
  • ACTIVE CASES*: 3,235
  • DAILY POSITIVITY RATE: 6.57%
  • TOTAL KNOWN CASES THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC: 124,047
  • TOTAL RECOVERED THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC: 119,232
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*The Department of Health often amends the number of active cases after they are first reported.

Burleigh County, which encompasses Bismarck, has the most known active cases in the state with 603. Cass County, which includes Fargo, had 526 known cases as of Friday, and Stark County, which encompasses Dickinson, had 255.

McIntosh County had the worst outbreak per capita in the state of any North Dakota county as of Wednesday, according to the Department of Health's dashboard. Many western North Dakota counties have more active COVID-19 cases per capita compared to the state's eastern counties.

North Dakota's 14-day rolling average positivity rate was 6.4% as of Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 100

  • DEATHS: 4

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 1,580

The North Dakota Department of Health reported four additional COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, including a resident of Mountrail County, a Burleigh County resident and two from Cass County. The agency no longer releases demographic information about residents who died with COVID-19, including age and gender.

Nationwide, one in 500 Americans have died of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, according to The Washington Post. More than 660,000 residents have died because of the illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

North Dakota's pandemic death rates now sits at one in 480 residents, according to The Post.

The state reported a slight decline in hospitalizations on Wednesday, though hospitals in North Dakota continue to be overwhelmed, both with COVID and non-COVID patients, partly because of staffing shortages.

North Dakota had 15 available staffed ICU beds throughout its hospitals as of Tuesday, according to a Department of Health database.

Bismarck's two hospitals had no available staffed ICU beds and Fargo had six among its three hospitals.

During the week of Sept. 5, the state reported 19 hospitalizations where the person was fully vaccinated and 74 hospitalizations where the person was not fully vaccinated.

Vaccinations

  • FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED*: 357,663 (53.8% of population ages 12 and up)

  • FULL VACCINE COVERAGE*: 329,398 (49.6% of population ages 12 and up)

*These figures come from the state's vaccine dashboard, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which includes vaccinations performed at federal sites, reports slightly higher vaccination rates.

Nearly 330,000 North Dakotans are fully vaccinated, and 0.0522% have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, according to the Department of Health.

In North Dakota, one in 110 fully vaccinated people have tested COVID-19 positive, compared to one in 13 unvaccinated individuals, according to the Department of Health.

The Department of Health encourages individuals to get information about vaccines at www.health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator.

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