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Bison symposium canceled for 2nd straight year due to virus

September 13, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A three-day symposium in Bismarck to discuss the history and revitalization of the American bison has been postponed due to the coronavirus, event organizers said Monday.

The Dakota Bison Symposium had been scheduled Thursday through Saturday. Many of the national speakers have recently decided against traveling to North Dakota, where one in every 253 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. It is also one of the worst states in the country for rate of virus vaccinations.

Bismarck State College and its partners decided against a virtual format and rescheduled the event for next spring, BSC President Doug Jensen told The Bismarck Tribune.

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“One of the exciting things about symposia is getting to rub elbows with these national speakers,” Jensen said. “Within the last few weeks, we’ve lost that aspect of the conference.”

The symposium also was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

The North Dakota Department of Health Monday confirmed 180 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 2,815 active cases throughout the state. There have been 122,736 positive tests since the start of the pandemic.

There were nearly 753 new cases per 100,000 people in North Dakota over the past two weeks, which ranks 18th in the country for new cases per capita, researchers said. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by nearly 48%