BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Saturday, July 11, reported 90 people tested positive for COVID-19, while 25 counties in the state reported at least one positive case.

Averaging roughly 3,700 tests this past week, the state has seen a rise in positive cases, while the positivity rate has remained relatively low. Another 4,327 tests were conducted Friday, yielding a 2% positivity rate.

Active cases continue to be an issue. According to the department, another 50 individuals have been added to a list that has grown exponentially. On June 22, 211 active cases were reported in the state. Now, 623 individuals are known to currently have the disease, a roughy 65% increase. On May 22, an all-time high 660 active cases were reported.

In all, 4,243 North Dakota residents have contracted the coronavirus in the state.

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Two more deaths were reported by the department Saturday, bringing the statewide total to 87. Both women were in their 90s from Cass County and, like every other death in the state, had underlying health conditions. 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.

Of the new cases, 21 are in Cass County, which acompases the Fargo area that has now reported 2,442 cases.

Burleigh County, home to Bismarck, has recently become the new hotspot, adding another 16 positive cases Saturday, bringing the total to 425. The city currently has the most positive cases at 181, while Cass County has 136.

Gov. Doug Burgum in a press conference Wednesday, July 8, said state officials are closely monitoring the Bismarck area, while a decision to deploy a coronavirus task force like one in Fargo has not been made.

In addition, Burgum announced the establishment of fixed COVID-19 testing sites in locations such as Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, Dickinson and Jamestown.

Sixty-three deaths have come from long-term care facilities and nursing homes, with 29 active cases. Villa Maria in Fargo has five active positive residents and five active positive staff.

Twenty-five counties reported positive cases, with Grand Forks adding nine cases, and Dunn County four.

A total of 224,050 tests have been conducted in the state, according to the department, however some residents have tested more than once.

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