The North Dakota Department of Health reported an additional 12 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, April 2, as the state topped the 150-mark for positive coronavirus cases.

The number includes six new cases in Cass County, five of which are attributed to close contact, according to the health department.

An additional two people in North Dakota have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, bringing the total to 28. The state lists 43 people as having recovered from the illness caused by the coronavirus. There were no new deaths reported Thursday, leaving the total at three.

Cass County leads the state in positive tests at 43. Burleigh County reported no new cases Thursday and has had 32 positive cases.

The number of people in North Dakota filing unemployment claims last week topped 12,000, more than double the number from the previous week, which also saw an unprecedented climb.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Figures released by Job Service North Dakota Thursday morning, April 2, show 12,591 people filed jobless claims in the week ending March 28.

Claims started soaring the week that ended on March 21, when 5,976 people filed for benefits in North Dakota. The week prior, which ended on March 14, saw just 521 claims filed.


Minnesota reported an additional death from coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 18.

Confirmed cases jumped by 53, bringing the new statewide total to 742 with Koochiching County in far northern Minnesota reporting its first case. Health officials caution the reported case number and location of cases is a substantial undercount, and that the coronavirus is circulating widely throughout the state.

Long-term care locations are the source of 71 cases of coronavirus in the state and most of the deaths from the virus, officials said. Out of the 18 deaths in the state, 11 were among congregate living residents.

To date, 47 congregate care facilities have reported at least one case of coronavirus to health officials, with 36 reporting one case, five reporting two cases, six reporting more than two cases, and the largest number of cases in a single facility at eight.

The state of Minnesota reported that as of Thursday, 297,397 Minnesotans had applied for unemployment insurance since March 16, and of those, 24,600 came in Wednesday.

South Dakota

South Dakota reported an increase of 36 positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

Of the 165 total positive cases reported in the state thus far, 57 people have recovered from the virus. To date, two people have died from COVID-19 complications in the state.

Minnehaha County, which includes the state's most populous city of Sioux Falls, leads all other counties by a stretch with 54 positive cases.

Lincoln County, a neighboring county just south of Minnehaha County, reported 17 positive cases.

Beadle County has the second highest number of positive cases with a total of 21.

The state is also seeing sharp increases in unemployment claims. A total of 6,645 unemployment claims were filed during the week of March 22-28, according to a news release from the state Department of Labor and Regulation.

A total of 1,671 claims were filed in the previous week.

In preparation for an increase in COVID-19 cases that require hospitalization, the state is deploying the National Guard to build facilities equipped with hospital beds, though the type of beds those will be has yet to be determined.

Around the region

  • A gas station in Detroit Lakes, Minn., was closed for cleaning and sanitizing Thursday morning after a female customer at the store said she had "tested positive" for something. The woman then left the store.
  • Altru Health System in Grand Forks is putting its $300 million hospital construction project on hold as it prioritizes its resources on the coronavirus pandemic.
  • More than 6.6 million Americans applied for jobless benefits last week, smashing a record set the week before, when about 3.3 million people filed for unemployment, the U.S. Department of Labor said in a statement released Thursday.
  • Minnesota students will likely wrap up the school year from home, Gov. Tim Walz said. While he didn't formally extend school closures beyond the May 4 date, he said he would likely have to take that step in the coming days.
  • North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota said they have positive cases of coronavirus.
  • The Red Lake Nation in northwest Minnesota announced "medical martial law" will be put in place on Friday, April 3. The move expands executive power for the chairman and tribal council. A curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. issued last week will remain in place.
  • Every state now has at least 100 confirmed cases of the illness — New York state has been hit the hardest, with more than 83,000 known cases and 1,900 deaths as of Thursday morning.

As a public service, we've opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status.