BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health announced Saturday, June 6, it had conducted 4,034 tests for COVID-19, meeting Gov. Dough Burgum's daily testing goal for the first time.

Burgum stated that North Dakota would aim to conduct at least 4,000 tests per day by the end of May. Saturday's report marks the first time the state met the mark. Previously, Burgum had cited a lack of demand for the state's inability to reach the goal before the end of May, leading state officials to consider relaxing the criteria for receiving a test.

North Dakota is among the top states in the nation in per-capita testing, ranking only behind Rhode Island and New York. Roughly half of those tested Friday had been previously tested. North Dakota's positive rate for the illness is 2.52%.

The department announced one new death Saturday, a male in his 90s from Cass County with underlying health conditions. Seventy-two individuals have died following a positive test for COVID-19, though 16 deaths are still pending records or do not list COVID-19 as the primary cause of death.

The state added 71 positive cases, of which 46 are from Cass County. Burleigh County reported six new cases, while Jamestown's Stutsman County added five new cases. Richland and Barnes counties each tallied three new cases, while two cases were recorded in Ward and Wells counties. Benson, LaMoure, Sheridan and Walsh counties each added one new case.

Cass County, the state's most populous area, accounts for two-thirds of all known COVID-19 cases in the state. Presently, there are 390 known active cases in Cass County, representing 0.21% of the county population. Statewide, active cases represent 0.06% of the population.

Twenty-nine residents are currently hospitalized with the virus. Residents between the ages of 50 to 59 comprise the largest age group of those ever hospitalized at 37.

Fifty-three deaths have occurred in senior citizen long-term care facilities. Currently, the Edgewood assisted living facility in Fargo has 22 active cases of the disease between residents and employees. Burgum announced Friday the state would allow senior care facilities to conduct outdoor visits between residents and loved ones.

The health department also announced Saturday the hours for its public health hotline will be altered. Effective immediately, the hotline will be available Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 1,863,656 cases of the illness in the United States, with 108,064 deaths recorded.

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