By Associated Press - Saturday, October 17, 2020

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - October already has become North Dakota’s deadliest month from COVID-19, as the number of cases continue to surge in the state that has become among the nation’s hotspots for coronavirus spread.

Health officials confirmed 11 new deaths on Saturday, bringing the statewide death toll from the virus to 399. Data show 129 of the deaths have occurred so far in October, surpassing the September tally of 122.

About 60 of the deaths have occurred in the past week.

Health officials confirmed 760 new cases on Saturday, down from a daily high of 877 cases reported Friday. The state has reported 31,262 positive cases of the virus since the pandemic began.

The new deaths reported Saturday include six women and five men, all in their 70s or older. All had underlying health conditions.

The state reported 148 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday, which matches the single-day high set Friday.

The COVID Tracking project reported that the state has had 1,029 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, which leads the nation. The rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 59% in the lasts two weeks.

North Dakota’s death count is the 23rd highest per capita in the country.

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