North Dakota recorded only 17 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, May 26, but two more people who had been infected with the disease have died.

A woman in her 70s and a woman in her 90s both died, bringing the total number of people infected with COVID-19 to have died in North Dakota to 56. Both women, who lived in Cass County, had underlying health conditions.

In addition, the state has retested 74 of the 82 people who got false positives because of a lab equipment malfunction. Of those, 73 were negative, one was positive and one person declined to be tested and is self-isolating.

On Tuesday, there were 1,048 test results received and 17 positive tests. There have been 2,439 confirmed cases to date.

The state lists 1,762 people as recovered, an increase of 61 from the day before.

Five more people have been hospitalized with complications from COVID-19. There are 40 people currently hospitalized and a total of 161 people have been hospitalized.

Of the 56 people who died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, 40 death certificates list COVID-19 as the primary cause, seven list another primary cause and nine results are still pending. There have been three deaths where COVID-19 was listed as the primary cause but there was not a test. In those cases, doctors used symptoms and exposure to determine the cause. It was not clear if those three are in addition to the other 56.


The lab experienced a recent malfunction on two pieces of lab equipment. Out of an abundance of caution, 82 positive results will be considered inconclusive and the individuals have been asked to retest. All the facilities involved have been notified. The issue was caught quickly and early; the malfunction has been corrected and has not impacted lab processing.

The retests will run over the next couple of days - an update will be provided in future news releases and more information will be provided at the news conference on Tuesday. For now, the previous results remain in the total positive count and will be adjusted after the results are in. More to come.

Total Retests Complete: 74

Positive: 1

Negative: 73

1 individual declined testing and is self-isolate at home


Woman in her 90s from Cass County with underlying health conditions.

Woman in her 70s from Cass County with underlying health conditions.


Cass County – 16

Grand Forks County - 1


86,527 - Total Number of Tests Completed* (+1,048 total tests from yesterday)

67,340 – Total Unique Individuals Tested* (+486 unique individuals from yesterday)

64,901 – Total Negative (+469 unique individuals from yesterday)

2,439 – Total Positive (+17 unique individuals from yesterday)

1.6% – Daily Positivity Rate**

161 – Total Hospitalized (+5 individuals from yesterday)

40 – Currently Hospitalized (+0 individuals from yesterday)

1,762 – Total Recovered (+61 individuals from yesterday)

56 – Total Deaths*** (+2 individual from yesterday)

Please note that the website is updated to reflect a row in the death data that includes the addition of three individuals where COVID-19 was listed as the cause of death on the official death record, but there was not a positive COVID-19 test. These individuals are presumed positive by the health care provider based on symptoms and/or exposure.

* Note that this does not include individuals from out of state and has been updated to reflect the most recent information discovered after cases were investigated.

**Because the serial tests completed and added to the total number of tests completed can result in new individuals who test positive, the daily positivity rate will be calculated using the total positives for the day by the daily number of tests completed instead of the daily number of unique individuals tested.

*** Number of individuals who tested positive and died from any cause while infected with COVID-19.

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