North Dakota National Guard notifies 800 people who test positive

Officials change COVID testing advice, bewildering experts
Posted at 2:50 PM, Oct 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-24 14:50:26-04

BISMARCK, N.D. — National Guard soldiers have helped notify 800 people who tested positive for the coronavirus but initially weren’t told because of a backlog of cases.

The backlog was due to a recent sharp increase in coronavirus cases. North Dakota leads the nation with more than 1,272 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

This week, North Dakota National Guard soldiers began telling people they tested positive for the virus. They previously were informing people who had contact with someone positive and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of the virus.

North Dakota reported 886 new infections on Friday, down from a record 1,038 cases on Thursday. Health officials reported nine deaths Friday, increasing the statewide death toll to 440.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.