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CDC raises Cass County's COVID-19 transmission level from "substantial" to "high"

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The Centers for Disease Control has elevated Cass County's COVID-19 transmission rate to "high," joining 2,469 other counties nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control has now classified Cass County as having a “high” COVID-19 transmission rate.

Before, the county’s classification was “substantial.” The new designation is based on continuous monitoring of new cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations, deaths and testing.

As of August 12, Cass County’s active COVID-19 case count sits at 242. As recently as July 1st there were only 20 active cases.

Melissa Markegard with Cass County Public Health noted in a statement that the Delta variant, which is becoming the predominant strain of COVID-19 in North Dakota, is likely to blame for the recent uptick in transmission.

The Delta variant is more contagious than previous strains, may cause double the amount of infections, and people infected may carry a heavier viral load. Markegard says the majority of hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 are in residents who are not yet vaccinated. In recent weeks, children under the age of 12 have made up for a substantially higher proportion of overall infections. Markegard says that trend is expected to continue.

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