Active COVID-19 cases surpass 11,000 in North Dakota, state posts record new positives

Fourteen North Dakota counties — including Burleigh, Morton Stark and Williams — either set or matched single-day records for new cases.

3D print of a SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—virus particle. The virus surface (blue) is covered with spike proteins (red) that enable the virus to enter and infect human cells. National Institutes of Health

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health reported 2,278 new COVID-19 cases Saturday morning, Nov. 14, a single-day record for new positive cases.

The state also reported 11,311 active cases, the first time the figure has risen north of 11,000.

North Dakota's most populous counties led the state in new cases with Grand Forks County and Fargo's Cass County tallying 296 and 289 new cases, respectively. Minot's Ward County added 285 new cases.

Bismarck's Burleigh County reported 265 new cases, a single-day high for the county. Across the Missouri River, Morton County's 88 new cases were a single-day record as well.

Dickinson's Stark County also set a single-day record with 156 new cases, while Jamestown's Stutsman County reported 112 new cases.


Benson, Burke, Foster, McIntosh, Mountrail, Nelson, Pierce, Ransom, Sargent and Williams counties also set single-day highs for new cases. Sioux County matched a previous single-day record.

The new cases emerged from 14,654 tests, marking a daily positivity rate of 17.1%.

The state announced an additional 19 deaths of individuals who had tested positive for the virus. The deceased — 10 women and nine men — primarily ranged in age from 70s to 90s, though a man in his 50s and a woman in her 60s were also among the deceased. The individuals were from Burleigh, McLean, Nelson, Richland, Rolette, Stark, Stutsman, Traill, Ward and Wells counties.

The deaths pushed COVID-19's death toll in the state to 726. The month of November has already seen 162 North Dakotans die with the virus, putting it on track to far exceed October's 293 deaths. Forum News Service calculated the death rate for individuals who've become infected with the virus to be 1.2%.

Click here to read more of InForum's COVID-19 coverage.

North Dakota's four most populous counties are each home to quadruple-digit active COVID-19 cases. Cass County leads the state with 1,719 active cases, a 20% increase over the past week . Burleigh County registered a 15% increase in active cases over the past week, rising to 1,665 Saturday. Ward County had 1,512 active cases and Grand Forks County reported 1,166 Saturday.

Sixteen counties reported triple-digit active cases Saturday, led by Morton County's 521 and Stutsman County's 512. Every county in the state is currently at the Department of Health's "high risk" designation .


With 374 active cases per 10,000 residents, Walsh County, directly north of Grand Forks County, leads the state in the category. Nelson County, which directly west of Grand Forks County, is second in the category with 356.

The negative trend in the state's COVID-19 figures prompted interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke to institute a statewide mask mandate Friday night, Nov. 13 . Gov. Doug Burgum also signed an executive order limiting occupancy and hours of service for restaurants, bars, event venues and ballrooms.

For weeks, North Dakota has led a spike in COVID-19 cases across a vast swath of the Midwest and Upper Rockies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The state tops the nation in new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week, a distinction it's held throughout the fall.

Nationwide, the CDC reported 10,508,864 COVID-19 cases and 242,216 deaths attributed to the virus as of Friday afternoon.

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Thomas Evanella is a reporter for The Forum. He's worked for The Forum for over three years, primarily reporting on business news. He's also the host of the InForum Business Beat podcast, which can be streamed at or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Reach him at or by calling 701-241-5518. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEvanella.
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