BISMARCK — North Dakota surpassed a total of 100,000 positive COVID-19 tests Wednesday, March 3, according to figures released by the state Department of Health.

That means that more than 13% of the state has registered a confirmed case of the virus since the pandemic began.

But even as Wednesday represented a benchmark, public health experts have long projected that there have been many more undocumented cases of COVID-19 in the state. One study by Columbia University researchers released in January even suggested that North Dakota's fall surge pushed infections to more than 60% of the population, a figure that would put the state close to herd immunity.

Public health officials have also celebrated a remarkable turnaround in North Dakota's virus outbreak in the last few months. Case numbers entered a sharp decline after a peak in mid-November. With case numbers now hovering in the high 500s and low 600s, North Dakota's virus levels are at their lowest point since last July.

And though the drivers of North Dakota's sharp reversal last fall have been debated in both political and public health circles, Dr. Paul Carson, a infectious disease specialist at North Dakota State University, noted in December that spread of the virus through much of the state's more risk-inclined population may mean that there have been many fewer people left for it to infect.

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Following are the North Dakota Department of Health COVID-19 case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations as of Wednesday. Because all data is preliminary, some numbers and totals may change from one day to the next.

Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES: 111
  • TOTAL ACTIVE CASES: 605
  • TOTAL CASES: 100,067
  • TOTAL RECOVERED: 98,014

  • DAILY TEST POSITIVITY RATE: 2.25%

North Dakota's active case count increased by 29 on Wednesday. Cass County reported 16 positive cases, while Burleigh County reported 12 additional cases.

  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 20

  • DEATHS, NEWLY REPORTED: 1

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 1,448

The Department of Health reported the death of one Ward County man in his 70s.

Vaccinations

  • FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED: 137,039 (18.7% of the population)

  • COMPLETED SERIES (2 DOSES): 77,797 (10.6% of the population)

North Dakota continues to rank among the top states in the country in the vaccine rollout. A total of 232,079 shots have been administered to North Dakotans, and 91% of the doses received by the state have been administered. The Department of Health urges residents to seek more information at www.health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator.

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Readers can reach reporter Adam Willis, a Report for America corps member, at awillis@forumcomm.com.