Monday, June 21

Tracking COVID-19 in Alaska: 1 death and 378 new cases reported Saturday – Anchorage Daily News

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The death reported Saturday involved a Fairbanks resident, state data showed.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus fell slightly from Friday to Saturday from 82 to 79 people sick enough to require care statewide. Another five hospitalized people were awaiting test results.

In total, 223 Alaskans and one nonresident with COVID-19 have died since the pandemic reached the state in March. Alaska’s death rate per capita is among the lowest in the country, though the state’s size and vulnerable health care system complicate national comparisons.

Alaska recently started adding in probable deaths of people with the virus as determined by medical providers in addition to those established by a lab result.

The state’s daily case counts in recent weeks have fallen precipitously since a surge that lasted through November and into early December. But health officials continue to express concern about a post-holiday spike in new cases, and note that the state’s alert level is still high.

The state is continuing its early rollout of COVID-19 vaccine, but most Alaskans won’t be eligible for many more months.

Vaccine appointments are made at or by calling 907-646-3322, leaving a message and waiting for a callback from an operator.

Of the 370 new infections reported Saturday among Alaska residents, there were 119 new cases in Anchorage, plus 14 in Eagle River, eight in Chugiak and one in Girdwood; 51 in Fairbanks; 39 in Wasilla; 14 in Palmer; 13 in North Pole; 11 in Kenai; nine in Soldotna; eight in Bethel; five in Kodiak; three in Seward; three in Utqiagvik; three in Ketchikan; two in Unalaska; two in Hooper Bay; one in Sterling; one in Cordova; one in Houston; one in Nome; one in Sitka; one in Nikiski; one in Anchor Point; one in Homer; and one in Dillingham.

Among communities smaller than 1,000 people not named to protect privacy, there were 15 in the Northwest Arctic Borough; 11 in the Kusilvak Census Area; eight in the Fairbanks North Star Borough; eight in the Bethel Census Area; five in the North Slope Borough; two in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough; one in the northern Kenai Peninsula Borough; one in the Copper River region; one in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area; one in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area; one in the Nome Census Area; one in the combined Yakutat and Hoonah-Angoon region; and one in the Dillingham Census Area.

There were eight cases among nonresidents reported Saturday: one in Bethel and seven in locations that were still being determined.

While people might get tested more than once, each case reported by the state health department represents only one person.

The state’s data doesn’t specify whether people testing positive for COVID-19 have symptoms. More than half of the nation’s infections are transmitted from asymptomatic people, according to CDC estimates.

The statewide test positivity rate as of Saturday was 4.66% over a seven-day average. Health officials say anything above 5% can indicate inadequate testing and widespread community transmission. The state peaked at over 9% positivity in November.

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