North Dakota announces new daily high in COVID-19 cases

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Friday, July 31, announced a record high number of new CO

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BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Friday, July 31, announced a record high number of new COVID-19 cases in the state with 168 positive tests.

This is the highest one-day increase to date since North Dakota saw its first case in March.

There are now 1,077 North Dakotans known to be infected with the illness, and 103 residents have died.

Burleigh County continues to report the highest number of active cases of any county with health officials on Friday confirming another 38 new cases. It also has more than double the number of active cases than any county with 280 cases.

On Thursday evening, Bismarck Public Schools voted unanimously to begin the 2020-21 school year with full-time in-person instruction.

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Of the new cases reported Friday:

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

  • Twenty-five of the new cases came from Cass County, which includes Fargo and West Fargo.

  • Sixteen new cases are from Stark County, which includes Dickinson.
  • Twelve are from Benson County, which encompasses the majority of the Spirit Lake Reservation.

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

There are now 47 residents currently hospitalized with COVID-19, up four from numbers reported Thursday.

About 3.2% of the 5,292 test results announced Friday came back positive. Johns Hopkins University, which calculates the rate of positives using only those tested for the first time, found an average of 7.3% of North Dakotans tested over a week-long period came back positive.

A total of 6,469 North Dakota residents have tested positive, but 5,289 have recovered.

The state has announced the results of 310,232 tests, and many residents have been tested more than once.

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Readers can reach reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at