BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Tuesday, Oct. 19, reported 10 new COVID-19 deaths.

North Dakota has now marked 1,690 COVID-19 deaths, of which 66 have occurred this October alone, according to Department of Health.

Hospitals statewide are severely understaffed and are currently experiencing pressure caused by an influx of non-coronavirus patients on top of those who require hospitalization because of COVID-19. The North Dakota Department of Health on Monday, Oct. 18, called on people to reach out to their local hospitals to see how the can assist in an effort to quell the unprecedented staffing shortages.

The Department of Health no longer releases demographic data about North Dakota's COVID-19 deaths, such as age and gender. However, Tuesday's 10 deaths included three residents of Cass County, two residents of Morton County and one each from Stark, McLean, Burleigh, Ramsey and Pembina County.

Statewide case rates

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  • NEW CASES REPORTED TUESDAY, OCT. 19: 734
  • ACTIVE CASES*: 3,310
  • DAILY POSITIVITY RATE: 9.16%
  • TOTAL KNOWN CASES THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC: 142,407
  • TOTAL RECOVERED THROUGHOUT PANDEMIC: 137,407

*The Department of Health often amends the number of active cases after they are first reported.

Cass County, which encompasses Fargo, had the most known active cases on Tuesday with 655 cases. Burleigh County, which includes Bismarck, had 483 active cases, and Stark County, which includes Dickinson, had 329.

Adolescents under 20 years of age encompassed 29% of North Dakota's active COVID-19 cases. As of Monday, children under 12, an age group that is not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, accounted for 602 of the state's active cases.

The state's 14-day rolling average positivity rate was 7.34% as of Monday.

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 198

  • DEATHS: 10

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 1,690

As of Monday, there were 14 available staffed ICU beds statewide, according to a Department of Health database. Bismarck's two hospitals had one staffed ICU beds available among them and Fargo's three hospitals had a total of seven open staffed ICU beds.

The vast majority of North Dakotans who are hospitalized because of COVID-19 are unvaccinated. During the week of Oct. 10, nearly 80% of those hospitalized were not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Department of Health data.

Vaccinations

  • FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED*: 374,278 (56.2% of population ages 12 and up)

  • FULL VACCINE COVERAGE*: 349,213 (52.4% of population ages 12 and up)

*These figures come from the state's vaccine dashboard, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which includes vaccinations performed at federal sites, reports slightly higher vaccination rates.

As of Sunday, Oct. 17, more than 32,000 booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to North Dakotans, said Molly Howell, state immunization manager.

North Dakota still ranks in the bottom 10 in vaccination rate in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The Department of Health encourages individuals to get information about vaccines at www.health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator.

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Readers can reach reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at mgriffith@forumcomm.com.