Coronavirus variants increasing in North Dakota; active COVID-19 cases climb again | Health







Kirby Kruger, head of the North Dakota Health Department’s disease control division and forensic pathology section, speaks at a coronavirus pandemic news conference in March 2020.


Mike McCleary



New versions of the coronavirus including the fast-spreading delta variant are on the rise in North Dakota, as active cases of COVID-19 continue to climb.

The state Health Department’s coronavirus dashboard on Thursday showed 224 active cases statewide — a fourth straight day of an increase and the highest total in more than a month.

The state confirmed 35 new virus cases from 2,069 tests processed Wednesday and calculated a positivity rate of 1.76%. The 14-day rolling average test positivity rate was at 1.86%, still well within the target range of less than 5%. But that rate and the number of active cases both have been trending upward this month, and health officials believe delta and other variants are contributing to the rise.

Twenty-five delta cases have now been confirmed in the state, up from 20 last week, according to Kirby Kruger, head of the Health Department’s disease control division and forensic pathology section. The variant has spread around the globe after first being detected in India last December.

North Dakota’s state lab has now identified 1,311 cases of five variants, an increase of 35 from last week. There are 1,099 cases of the variant first identified in the United Kingdom, 146 of the two California variants, 39 of the the Japan/Brazil variant and two of the South Africa variant.


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