BISMARCK —The North Dakota Department of Health reported 952 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths Thursday, Nov. 26, bringing the number of active cases down to 8,345. This is the fourth day straight where active cases have decreased.

Although active cases have been slowly declining, a total of 76,442 people have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, which means 1 out 10 North Dakotans have had COVID-19.

Ten deaths were reported Thursday — five men and five women — from Burleigh, Cass, Dickey, Foster, McHenry, McKenzie and Ward counties. The number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 is 302, with 38 in the ICU. Only 14.14% staffed beds are available in North Dakota. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates an increase in COVID-19 deaths with 10,600 to 21,400 more by Dec. 19, 2020. Experts have warned Thanksgiving gatherings may contribute in boosting the death toll throughout the nation.

Cass, Burleigh and Ward counties reported the highest number of cases in the state. Cass County added 219 cases, while Burleigh County, which includes Bismarck, reported 156 new cases. Ward County recorded 104 additional cases Thursday.

Neighboring Morton and Stark counties now have 436 and 288 active cases, respectively. Grand Forks County documented 734 cases, while Williston's Williams County recorded 237 total cases.

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Billings County has no active cases at the moment.

Not only does Cass County have the highest number of active cases, it has also had the highest number of deaths in the state. In Cass County, 122 residents have died as a result of COVID-19, as well as 119 in Burleigh County, 127 in Ward County and 68 in Morton County.

Slope, Golden Valley, Billings and Adams counties have had no COVID-19 deaths.

Adams, Benson, Bottineau, Bowman, Cavalier, Dickey, Divide, Dunn, Emmons, Grant, Hettinger, Kidder, LaMoure, Mercer, Nelson, Oliver, Pierce, Sargent, Steele, Towner and Wells counties each added five or fewer new cases.

A total of 8,897 tests were conducted, in which 2,426 were tested for the first time. Of the 952 new cases, 492 had previously tested negative for COVID-19.

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