North Dakota announces 7 new COVID-19 deaths, including man in his 30s

A Kidder County man in his 30s was among the additional deaths announced Thursday, and his death marks the eighth person in their 30s to die from COVID-19 in North Dakota throughout the pandemic. The vast majority of the state’s now 1,342 deaths were North Dakotans in their 80s and older.

Thursday’s deaths also included two Ramsey County residents, along with a Grand Forks County man in his 70s, a McLean County man in his 90s. a Rolette County man in his 60s and a Ward County woman in her 50s. At least 265 of the state’s deaths occurred in December alone, and the Department of Health likely will add deaths to December’s toll as death investigations conclude.

More than 800 of the state’s deaths have come in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and there are 50 infected nursing home residents in the state, according to the Department of Health.

Long-term care facility residents and staff across North Dakota began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations last week. They are expected to continue administering the first doses throughout January.

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Active COVID-19 cases in North Dakota slightly climbed to 2,088, which is still far less than the more than 10,000 residents known to be infected in mid-November.

With the new year, North Dakota has seen a small increase in cases after the Christmas and New Year holidays. However, cases are likely to fluctuate for the next couple of weeks as the holiday season saw fewer COVID-19 testing events nationwide, according to The COVID-19 Tracking Project.

The department reported 350 new cases on Thursday, including:

  • 70 from Cass County, which includes Fargo and West Fargo.
  • 32 from Burleigh County, which includes Bismarck.

  • 30 from Williams County, which includes Williston.

About 4% of the 8,820 residents tested as part of the latest batch received a positive result, and the average positivity rate of those tested in the last two weeks is about 4.7%.

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