North Dakota hits another pandemic high for active COVID-19 cases

The Department of Health reported 122 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, pushing the state's active case count to 1,119.

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Thursday, Aug. 6, announced 122 new cases of COVID-19 and another death from the illness.

Thursday's new case count pushes North Dakota to another pandemic high of 1,119 active cases, a slight uptick from the day before. And while 112 people have recovered from coronavirus since Wednesday, the tally of new cases in North Dakota continues to outpace the count of recoveries.

A McIntosh man in his 80s, reported as having underlying conditions, also died from the illness, the state reported Thursday. The death marks North Dakota's sixth death in as many days, and pushes the state's COVID-19 death toll to 109.

Burleigh County, which encompasses Bismarck, continues to report the highest number of active cases of any county, adding 34 new cases on Thursday. And the virus continues to spread rapidly in Burleigh compared to other hot spots around the state: The county now has 293 active cases, approaching triple the number of cases in Cass County, which has the second highest county total.

The next-door Morton County also reported 17 new cases on Thursday, a sharp increase for a county that has so far reported starkly lower numbers than its cross-river neighbor.


Of the new cases reported Wednesday:

  • Fifty-one are from the Burleigh-Morton County region, which encompasses neighboring cities Bismarck and Mandan.

  • Eighteen of the new cases come from Cass County, which includes Fargo and West Fargo.

  • Eight new cases are from Grand Forks County.
  • Ten cases are from Rolette County, which encompasses the Turtle Mountain Reservation.

Rolette County has seen a quick rise in coronavirus cases over the last week. Over the weekend the tribal government for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians mandated the use of masks in all businesses on the tribe's reservation. Rolette reported 30 active cases of the virus on Thursday.
The longest-serving justice on the North Dakota Supreme Court, Judge Gerald VandeWalle, who is 86, also tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The state supreme court, which is based out of the capitol building in Bismarck, has been conducting its business by video call during the pandemic.

About 2.2% of the 5,471 test results announced Thursday came back positive, but 4.6% of residents tested for the first time received a positive result. North Dakota does not regularly report a seven-day rolling average for positivity rate as many other states do, but Forum News Service calculated the rate to be 4.9% for tests performed on previously untested residents.

Forty-six residents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, up four from the numbers reported Wednesday.

All counties in North Dakota have reported cases of COVID-19, but some currently have zero active cases.

A total of 7,177 North Dakota residents have tested positive, but 5,949 have recovered.

The state has announced the results of 341,001 tests, and many residents have been tested more than once.

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Readers can reach reporter Adam Willis, a Report for America corps member, at

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