Richland County sees opposite trends in latest COVID-19 numbers

The county has a 14-day positivity rate of just below 8 percent, according to the North Dakota's COVID dashboard.

Richland County's strong testing effort and not everyone being eligible for the vaccine could be the factor in the county's case rate per 10,000 people, according to Kayla Carlson, the director of health services for the county. WDAY file photo

WAHPETON, N.D. — Richland County health officials are seeing two different worlds in the fight against COVID-19.

According to the North Dakota COVID-19 dashboard , the county sits at 22 cases per 10,000 people as of Wednesday, March 17, which is the highest in the state.

The next closest is 16 per 10,000 people in Ramsey County.

Despite the case rate, Richland County has vaccinated nearly a quarter of its population as of Wednesday, according to the state's vaccine dashboard.


Kayla Carlson, the director of health services for Richland County, said a strong emphasis on testing and not everyone being eligible for the vaccine yet could be the cause of the high case rate.

"There's still quite a few individuals that we're looking to get vaccinated, and then hopefully as we continue to vaccinate, we'll see our numbers decrease again," she said.

Carlson said even though vaccinations are rolling out, the county isn't out of the woods yet.

"I think, finally, after a year, we're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel," she said. "And so as we get there, still be diligent. "

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Tanner Robinson is a producer for First News on WDAY-TV.
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