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North Dakota officials forced to cut back on COVID case work

January 10, 2022 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota health officials said Monday that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases is forcing them to cut back on investigations and they are encouraging people who test positive to isolate on their own.

The state Department of Health said it will continue to monitor virus cases for K-12 students, higher education students, people over age 55 and people in health care facilities, long term care and congregate settings. Others may not be contacted by case workers but should still follow isolation protocols, officials said.

Department spokesman Kirby Krueger said the rapid emergency of the omicron variant has resulted in “refocusing our priorities for case work.”

The rolling average of daily new cases in North Dakota has increased by 291% over the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. One in every 97 people in North Dakota tested positive in the past week, researchers said.

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Health officials said people who test positive for the coronavirus or have been recently been diagnosed with the disease should self-isolate for a minimum of five days. The isolation period starts from the first day someone develops symptoms or from the day of a positive test if there are no symptoms.