By Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2020

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A Bismarck hospital has turned to a Mandan nursing home to help care for some coronavirus patients as cases continue to rise in the region.

COVID-19 patients who have been discharged from Sanford Health but still need medical care will go to Sunset Drive Prospera Community in Mandan.

The COVID unit at Sunset will operate with separate entrances, designated staff and personal protective equipment. The facility will begin accepting patients early next week, according to a letter from a regional coronavirus task force.

State health officials on Friday reported that coronavirus-related hospitalizations rose for a fifth straight day, to a new high of 65. That’s up from 47 on Sunday.

A Sanford Health official said the hospital’s COVID-19 unit has adequate resources, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

“Our COVID care unit is not full and we have no shortage of ventilators,” Dr. Danielle Thurtle, interim chief medical officer for Sanford, said in a statement. “We also have the capacity to expand COVID beds as needed. In some cases, we may utilize the COVID care unit being established at the Sunset Drive long-term care facility in Mandan for patients who require a long-term care facility setting and no longer require hospital care.”

The updated virus report Friday also showed 152 new COVID-19 cases in 29 counties, raising the state total to 8,322. Officials also confirmed the state’s 121st death, a Grand Forks County man in his 90s with underlying health conditions.

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