Richland County, as well as the state of North Dakota, has seen what health experts call a meteoric rise in COVID-19 cases in just the past few weeks.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in cases over the last few weeks. We started last week Monday, Sept. 27, with 23 active cases. We are ending this week Friday, Oct. 8, with 79 active cases,” Richland County Health Services Director Kayla Carlson said.

Statewide, cases rose from 3,738 to 4,485 during the same time period. There are currently more active cases in North Dakota than at the same time last year. On Oct. 8, 2020, there were 3,478 active cases statewide.

Active cases are spread among all age groups and a majority of those cases are unvaccinated individuals, according to Richland County Public Health.

“We strongly recommend individuals follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidance and continue to practice mitigation efforts including masking and social distancing,” a release stated.

Several upcoming COVID-19 and flu vaccine clinics will be held from in Richland County from 3-6 p.m. throughout the remainder of October. They include:

• Wednesday, Oct. 13, at the Wyndmere Community Center
, Wyndmere, North Dakota

• Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the Lidgerwood Knights of Columbus Hall
, Lidgerwood, North Dakota

• Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Wahpeton Event Center
, Wahpeton

• Wednesday, Oct. 27, at Richland 44 High School, Colfax, North Dakota

• Thursday, Oct, 28, at the Wahpeton Event Center

The release also urged those who have received the Pfizer vaccine, and are eligible, to get their COVID-19 booster dose.

CDC booster recommendations are as follows:

• People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series;


• People aged 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series;


• People 18 to 49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks; and


• People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.


“The COVID-19 vaccines approved and authorized in the United States continue to be effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant,” Richland County stated.

News Monitor will continue to follow this story.

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