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North Dakota in for a second COVID wave?

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North Dakota added nearly 200 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday. As that number has been steadily creeping up over the past few weeks, many are wondering if the state could be in for a second wave.

North Dakota Public Health Association President Renae Moch didn’t go so far as to say the uptick could be considered another wave. But she notes that a variety of factors could be contributing to the climbing case count, like fewer mitigation measures, more public gatherings and less mask-wearing.

Moch says the vaccination rollout should be helping slow the infection rate, and though North Dakota isn’t in the clear yet, public health is heading in the right direction with more people getting the shot.

“The mask mandate of course has been taken away in many of the areas, so people are going about their business. Sports activities, group gatherings, spring break activity, when people gathered, traveled and came back. Just a lot of different types of relaxation methods we’ve seen and so that’s showing some impact in the numbers of course,” Moch said.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, just five states have accounted for more than 40 percent of the new cases in the U.S. over the past week.

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