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As COVID-19 cases increase in North Dakota, public health is seeing the effects

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The North Dakota Department of Health says they’re seeing a steady number of positive COVID-19 cases rolling in.

Over the last week, active positives have increased from 682 to 989 — jumping nearly 45 percent.

The Department of Health says while there are other variants still out there, a majority of the current cases coming in are that of the Delta variant.

“Right now in North Dakota, when you look at the risk of transmission, most of our counties are in the moderate to high-risk category now,” explained Kirby Kruger, the section chief for the NDDOH Disease Control division.

Kruger says there is also a pattern amongst people being hospitalized for the coronavirus.

“Consistently 80-85% of the individuals who are ending up in the hospital with COVID are people who are not vaccinated or are not fully vaccinated. They’ve only had partial dose or series,” said Kruger.

While the state is seeing a steady increase in COVID-19 cases, local public health units are seeing an increase in demand for vaccines.

“I don’t know if the convenience of the hours has made it seem like the demand is increasing or if it’s just increasing because of the increase in cases and the news of the Delta variant. So I think it kind of goes hand in hand, but we definitely are having more people come to our office requesting the vaccine,” said Erin Ourada, the Administrator for Custer Health.

Custer Health also serves four other counties. Staff there say they’ve been receiving calls from their other offices requesting additional doses.

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