Stutsman County has 35 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total active cases in the county to 117, according to information released Tuesday, Oct. 20, from the North Dakota Department of Health. The county's cumulative daily positive rate is 9.48 percent.
The results are a cause for concern, said Robin Iszler, unit administrator for the Central Valley Health District.
"The 14-day positivity rate in the community is increasing," she said. "Stutsman County saw a high rate of positivity at 6.4% in prior weeks, but soon decreased to 1.3% and is now going back up with the current 14-day positivity rate at 4.4%. The drop in the positivity rate did make a difference in Stutsman County making our county color changed from yellow to green on the ND Smart Restart Guidance."
Iszler said a continued rise in the positivity rate could force the state to return Stutsman County to a yellow or moderate risk which would bring additional restrictions.
"What makes the positive cases different now than what we were seeing in previous months is that the majority of cases are from all over the community,” she said. "When cases are from a variety of places and cannot be pinpointed, this is considered “community spread.”
Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said additional restrictions could be implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“As Mayor of Jamestown, I have the authority to strengthen our safety practices through policy changes such as: public mask mandates and early shut down of bars and restaurants and restrictions for local gatherings (i.e. weddings, community events, etc.),” he said in a news release issued Tuesday. “In order to keep our local business and economy going and schools open, our residents need to be healthy and our community data needs to improve."
Other counties in the region also reported new cases: Foster County reported 11 cases; Dickey County, 10; McIntosh County, five; Griggs and Kidder, four each; Eddy and Wells, three each; and Logan, one.
The North Dakota Department of Health also reported the state had four deaths related to COVID-19, two women in their 80s from Cass County, a man in his 70s from Ramsey County and a man in his 60s from Stark County. All had underlying health conditions, the health department said. There have been 412 deaths in the state related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
There are currently a total of 6,032 active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota. There were 1,036 cases reported Tuesday.