BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health reported 468 new COVID-19 cases from 9,603 tests, Saturday, Sept. 12, both daily records for the state.

Fargo's Cass County reported 70 new COVID-19 cases, while Minot's Ward County added 63 new cases. Bismarck's Burleigh County and neighboring Morton County recorded 61 and 51 new cases, respectively. Dickinson's Stark County also added 51 new cases.

Jamestown's Stutsman County reported 30 new cases and bordering Barnes County, which encompasses Valley City, added 29 new cases. Grand Forks County reported 14 new cases.

Mercer County added 10 new cases. Benson County and McLean County each reported eight new cases and Ramsey County and Richland County each added seven new cases.

Adams, Bowman, Dickey, Dunn, Eddy, Emmons, Foster, Griggs, Hettinger, LaMoure, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, Oliver, Pembina, Ransom, Renville, Sargent, Sioux, Steele, Traill, Walsh, Wells and Williams counties each added five or fewer new cases.

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The state reported three new deaths resulting from COVID-19. The deceased were two Cass County males in their 90s with underlying health conditions and a Williams County female in her 60s with underlying health conditions.

The deaths move the virus's death toll in the state to 167. Of those, 130 list COVID-19 as the primary cause while 37 others list the virus as a secondary cause or are pending death records. The department also reported three deaths to individuals who were presumed to have been COVID-19 positive. The death rate for North Dakotans who have been infected with the virus is 1.1%.

Active cases rose 191 to 2,534, marking a 13% increase since the beginning of September.

On Thursday Sept. 3, the climbing number of active cases prompted North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum to increase the risk level in Barnes, Benson, Burleigh, Grand Forks, McLean, Morton, Stark and Williams counties from low to moderate. The first-term governor has declined to enact a statewide mask mandate. "Maybe in some other states (mask mandates) might work," Burgum said, "but in North Dakota it doesn't matter what we do or what we say: There are people who will not wear a mask."

Burleigh County's 447 active cases are the most of any county in the state, though the county's active cases fell by eight over the past week.

After a 54% increase a week prior, active cases in Cass County, the state's most populous area, fell by 10 from Sunday's mark. As of Friday, Sept. 11, North Dakota State University reported 139 COVID-19 cases among students and employees over the past two weeks, an increase of 17% from the previous Friday. The school has reported an additional 203 students are quarantined in university housing.

Grand Forks County reported 263 active cases Saturday, a 44% decrease from Sunday, Sept. 6. The University of North Dakota had 78 "current self-reported" cases among faculty, staff and students, a decrease of 32% since last Sunday.

Active cases numbered 236 in Stark County with Dickinson State University reporting 24 active cases and 26 recoveries as of Thursday, Sept. 10.

Active cases totaled 188 in Morton County, 186 in Ward County, 167 in Williams County and 154 in Stutsman County. Barnes County reported 71 active cases Saturday with all other North Dakota counties reporting 39 or fewer active cases. Two rural counties, Grant and Sheridan, have zero active cases.

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 6,427,058 cases of COVID-19 and 192,388 deaths from the virus.

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