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Coronavirus cases, deaths rise in North Dakota



BISMARCK, N.D.  — North Dakota’s Health Department on Saturday reported an increase in COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalizations, as officials deal with a temporary delay in vaccine shipments.

Health officials reported 85 new coronavirus cases, raising the state’s pandemic total to 99,228. Two additional deaths were reported to bring North Dakota’s pandemic total to 1,437 fatalities with 97,002 recoveries.

The number of deaths was at its highest point last November with 498 fatalities. That declined to 282 in December and 76 in January. So far in February, 11 people have lost their lives to coronavirus.

Thirty-nine people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 with 8 in the intensive care unit, according to the state’s online dashboard.

North Dakota did not receive some expected vaccine shipments on Tuesday or Thursday due to severe winter weather in other parts of the country, according to Health Department spokesman Paul Teeple.

The shipments are expected to resume as soon as Monday. They will include the doses the state did not get this week.

More than 400,000 North Dakotans have been tested for COVID-19, and more than 177,000 have received an initial dose of vaccine.