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Alaska’s daily COVID-19 count swings back up with 12 new cases after brief dip into single digits

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The state’s daily COVID-19 count rose by 12, officials reported Tuesday — a jump from prior days, but without any new deaths. There was one new hospitalization.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported a total of 753 cases as of Tuesday, including 77 out-of-state residents, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. The number of people currently hospitalized with positive cases or those under investigation remained at 21.

One new non-resident case was identified Monday in a seafood industry worker in Anchorage, state officials say.

There were 235 active cases among people still not recovered from the virus as of Tuesday, a number that remains high compared to past weeks since the pandemic started in March.

Four new cases were confirmed in Anchorage residents, as well as one each in Eagle River, Girdwood, Homer, Kenai, Soldotna, Wasilla, Bethel and a community state officials are describing as “Other” on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

On Monday, the state’s daily tally dropped to three new cases, the lowest since June 2. On Sunday, the state reported nine new cases.

Alaska’s daily COVID-19 count hit its largest daily increase Saturday with 29 cases reported.

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Hospitalizations and deaths, however, don’t appear to be spiking, but instead are rising in ones and twos, health officials say. A total of 54 Alaskans have been hospitalized since March, including the one new patient reported Tuesday.

Twelve have died after contracting the virus, including two residents within the last week at the Providence Transitional Care Center, the site of the state’s largest COVID-19 outbreak with 47 confirmed cases in residents and caregivers.

Those numbers didn’t change Tuesday, a Providence spokesman said. The center provides rehabilitation and other treatment for people discharged from the hospital.

The head of the state’s public-health labs said the drop in cases reported Monday was not due to testing delays in Anchorage or Fairbanks.

State labs did get temporarily bogged down last week after a rush of tests came in from the state’s new airport testing sites and the Providence outbreak, said Dr. Bernd Jilly, Alaska State Public Health Laboratories chief. But they’re caught up now and back in “real time,” Jilly said Tuesday.

The state’s daily case count tends to yo-yo up and down, he said. "We had a surprisingly low number that was reported yesterday. Which we were really happy about because it’s like two days of decrease.”

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