BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Hospitalization rates due to complications from COVID-19 continue to rise in North Dakota, with 17 patients admitted to medical facilities in the last day, state health officials reported Sunday.

A total of 322 people are currently hospitalized with the virus. The state reported 10 deaths in the last day, for a total of 736 fatalities since the start of the pandemic. The death toll is the eighth highest per capita in the country at more than 96 deaths per 100,000 people, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

Figures compiled Saturday by hospital officials show there are 14 staffed intensive care beds and 179 staffed inpaatient beds available statewide.

The state Department of Health on Saturday ordered a mask mandate for the first time during the pandemic.

The state reported 935 positive tests for COVID-19 in the last day. There were 2,494 new cases per 100,000 people in North Dakota over the past two weeks, which ranks first in the country for new cases per capita. Johns Hopkins University researchers say one in every 79 people in North Dakota tested positive in the past week.

The four most populous counties in the state recorded more than 100 news cases in the last day, including the cities of Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot.

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