Previously, the state’s modeling predicted a decrease in cases, but that has since changed and it’s now projecting an increase going forward, health officials wrote in a weekly summary of cases.
There were no new deaths reported Thursday. In total, 44 Alaskans with COVID-19 have died. The state continues to have one of the lowest death rates in the country.
On Thursday, state health officials announced that a third resident of the Anchorage Pioneer Home who had tested positive for COVID-19 had died recently. The six state-run Pioneer Homes have gone two weeks without new cases of the virus among staff and residents, according to an update from the state health department.
On top of a projected increase in case counts, the state’s reproductive number — or the average number of people a person with COVID-19 infects — rose to 1.02, health officials wrote. Anything above a reproductive number of 1 means "the epidemic is growing,” according to the state’s health department.
Statewide as of Thursday, 34 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 while seven other hospital patients were awaiting test results, according to state data. Of the 41 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of the illness, 13 people were on ventilators.
Active cases of COVID-19 among Alaska residents rose from 4,202 on Wednesday to 4,306 on Thursday. There were also a total of 713 active cases of COVID-19 among nonresidents in the state.
Of the new cases, it wasn’t clear how many patients were showing symptoms of the virus when they tested positive.
Of the 109 new cases of COVID-19 involving residents, 48 were in Anchorage; one was in Homer; one was in Kenai; one was in Soldotna; eleven were in Fairbanks; four were in North Pole; one was in Delta Junction; two were in Palmer; six were in Wasilla; seven were in Utqiagvik; one was in Kotzebue; one was in Haines; two were in Douglas; fourteen were in Juneau; one was in Ketchikan; one was in Wrangell; one was in Bethel and one was in Dillingham;
Among communities smaller than 1,000 not identified to protect confidentiality, there was one in the Nome Census Area and four in the Northwest Arctic Borough.
Of the four nonresident cases, one was in the combined Yakutat and Hoonah-Angoon region; one was in Kotzebue; one was in Utqiagvik and one was in Prudhoe Bay.
The state’s testing positivity rate as of Thursday was 2.37% over a seven-day rolling average.