BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Saturday, May 30, announced 34 additional positive COVID-19 cases, including 24 residents of Cass County.

The average of positive tests within the last week is 38.6, however an outlier in Saturday’s numbers was the amount of testing.

Friday’s 3,041 tests is the most the state has done in a single day. It’s a gradual increase from a week low of 976 tests on Monday, May 25. North Dakota has conducted 92,640 total tests, with 68,427 negative results.

A Fargo man in his 60s was the latest death reported by the department, bringing the state total to 60 from a virus that has claimed more than 102,000 lives nationwide. As in every other instance, the individual who died had underlying health conditions. officials said. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says older adults and people with HIV, diabetes, asthma, liver disease or other conditions that compromise one's immune system are at a greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.

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The added cases amounts to 2,554 total in the state, while 1,943 have recovered, an increase of 61 from Friday. The number of people currently hospitalized is 34, a decrease of two, while 165 individuals at one point were hospitalized.

Of the new cases, 24 came from Cass County, which accompasses the Fargo area, the epicenter of the virus in the state. Almost 66% of all cases come from Cass County, where 49 of the state deaths have occurred. Other counties reporting positive cases include Grand Forks, Burleigh, Williams, Stutsman, Richland, McKenzie, Traill and Renville.

Long-term care facilities continue to be the main focus for potential outbreaks and likelihood of death. Nursing homes are more susceptible to deadly outbreaks of COVID-19 due to the amount of elderly with underlying health conditions. Forty-seven statewide deaths linked to long-term care have been confirmed from the department, with 169 active cases.

The health department now discerns between employees and residents in its reporting of nursing home cases. Edgewood Fargo has the most positive cases among patients at 18, and staff, with 22.

On Friday, Gov. Doug Burgum announced new guidelines regarding visitation of residents in nursing homes if they meet a certain criteria including:

  • the prevalence of COVID-19 in the area surrounding a facility

  • the completion of at least two rounds of testing on residents and employees

  • a facility's continued commitment to performing testing

  • a total lack of new cases in residents

  • adequate local hospital capacity and access to personal protection equipment

In addition, Burgum added new guidelines for restaurants and how stringent it will be regarding large gatherings. According to the department, Burgum has moved into the “low” risk level for COVID-19. Restaurants can now be filled to 75% capacity, while also allowing 75% of occupancy up to 500 people, according to the department.