North Dakota reports sharp decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations


Earlier today, the North Dakota Department of Health reported a net decrease in hospitalizations of 117 individuals. Hospitalizations in the state have fallen rapidly in the past few weeks, and while much of this difference reflects newly discharged cases, part of this drop reflects a quality control effort as case workers catch up with these changes following a recent surge in cases.

Of the 146 hospitalizations whose status was changed from current to discharged, 74 had been discharged in the past two weeks and the remainder were discharged prior to Dec. 1. This was due to a variety of factors, including case managers catching up with follow-up work after a surge of new cases in November; lags in reporting between when patients were actually discharged from facilities to when the NDDoH was notified of the discharges through the Health Information Network; and inconsistent data entry.

“The team took time yesterday to verify every individual currently marked as hospitalized and found a number who had been previously discharged,” said Disease Control Director Kirby Kruger. “In the future, the team will be working more actively with facilities to ensure the information is up to date and accurate and will continue to check the Health Information Network daily for hospitalization information.”