BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health reported 37 new cases of COVID-19 in the state and one new death attributed to the illness.

The deceased was a female in her 80s from Cass County with pre-existing health conditions.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the state has reported 3,495 positive cases, 3,139 recoveries, and 79 deaths.

Sixty-eight deaths attribute COVID-19 as the primary cause, while 11 others are pending death records or list COVID-19 as a secondary cause of death. Additionally, the state has reported nine individuals who have died and were presumed positive but never tested positive for the virus.

Cass County, the state's most populous area, recorded 15 new cases. Burleigh County added seven new cases, while Grand Forks County reported five new cases. Williams County posted three new cases, Stark County added two, and Grant, McIntosh, Mountrail, Traill and Walsh counties each added one new case.

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Known active cases North Dakota have risen over the past six consecutive days as the state has markedly increased testing. Active cases totaled 217 on Monday, June 22, a level not seen since mid-April. Since Monday, the state has conducted an average of over 3,500 tests, concluding the highest-testing week to date.

Presently, active cases total 277, still more than half of the 669 active cases on May 21, which according to experts was the virus's first wave peak in North Dakota.

Active cases account for 0.03% of North Dakota's population, meaning one in every 2,744 North Dakotans is currently positive for COVID-19. In Cass County, active cases represent 0.05% of the population, or one in 1,891 residents.

Roughly one-third of active cases originate from Cass County, while one-fifth of active cases are from Bismarck's Burleigh County.

Both cases and deaths in nursing homes have slowed. Bethany on University, a skilled-care facility in Fargo, reported four active cases among staff. Villa Maria in Fargo tallied one active resident case and two active staff cases. COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities has held at 56.

The state is currently working to optimally distribute tests across the state to meet demand. The department hosted testing events in Fargo, Bismarck and Minot last week, though Thursday's event in Fargo ended early when all tests were used.

The state lab can process 5,000 tests per day, according to Gov. Doug Burgum. While the state has yet to reach the mark, demand for tests continues to rise. The state opened testing to the general public less than two weeks ago.

Across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 2,459,572 cases of COVID-19 and 124,976 deaths.

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