North Dakota has 68 COVID-19 cases, 1 death | Prairie Public Broadcasting

North Dakota has 68 COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Mar 27, 2020

Governor Doug Burgum says North Dakota's first death due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has occurred. "Today's a sad day for North Dakota," Burgum said. "While we knew this day was coming, it doesn't diminish the profound impact on a family in North Dakota losing a family member, a friend, a loved one."

The patient was a man in his 90s from Cass County with underlying health conditions. Burgum says this is a sobering reminder that North Dakotans have a responsibility to prevent the spread of the disease, by practicing good hygiene and maintaining the guidelines of social distancing.

Burgum says ten additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state for a total of 68. There have been 16 hospitalizations.

Burgum says 447 tests were completed today, which is a record number of tests in one day. He says whether or not your county has any confirmed positive cases, it can be assumed the true  number may be as high as ten times the official total.

"A good metric for that - if you think about, a person may contract it and have no symptoms for several days, then they develop symptoms, then they go, 'hey, I'm sick enough I think I oughta get tested,' then it takes a while to get the tests back - I'm talking about this every day being latent data. Ten positives might be picking up the positives from ten days ago. We know the spread because each person who's been positive has the opportunity to infect two to three other people - and it just grows exponentially."

To date, 2,708 tests have been performed.