BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health on Wednesday, Aug. 5, announced 124 new cases of COVID-19 and another death from the illness.

Wednesday's new case count pushes North Dakota to another pandemic high of 1,112 active cases, a slight uptick from the day before. While 122 people have recovered from coronavirus since Tuesday's reporting, the tally of new cases in North Dakota continues to outpace the count of recoveries.

A Grand Forks woman in her 80s, reported as having underlying conditions, died Wednesday, marking North Dakota's fifth death in the last five days and pushing the state's COVID-19 death toll to 108.

Burleigh County, which encompasses Bismarck, continues to report the highest number of active cases of any county, adding 41 new cases on Wednesday. And the virus continues to spread rapidly in Burleigh compared to other hot spots around the state: The county now has 281 active cases, approaching triple the number of cases in Cass County, which has the second highest county total.

Of the new cases reported Wednesday:

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  • Forty-six are from the Burleigh-Morton County region, which encompasses neighboring cities Bismarck and Mandan.

  • Eighteen of the new cases came from Cass County, which includes Fargo and West Fargo.

  • Eight new cases are from Grand Forks County.
  • Three are from Williams County, which encompasses Williston.

Benson County, which encompasses the majority of the Spirit Lake Reservation, has also emerged as a recent hot spot. The county reported three new cases on Wednesday for an active case total of 68.

About 2.2% of the 5,725 test results announced Wednesday came back positive, but 5.5% of residents tested for the first time received a positive result. North Dakota does not regularly report a seven-day rolling average for positivity rate as many other states do, but Forum News Service calculated the rate to be 5.1% for tests performed on previously untested residents.

Despite the rising case count, North Dakota hospitals cleared some capacity today. Forty-six residents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, down nine from the numbers reported Tuesday.

All counties in North Dakota have reported cases of COVID-19, but some currently have zero active cases.

A total of 7,057 North Dakota residents have tested positive, but 5,837 have recovered.

The state has announced the results of 335,542 tests, and many residents have been tested more than once.

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Readers can reach reporter Adam Willis, a Report for America corps member, at