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Alaska News

Tracking COVID-19 in Alaska: 1 death, 220 new cases reported Friday

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: October 16
  • Published October 16
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The state on Friday reported 220 new cases of COVID-19 and one death associated with the virus, according to the Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 dashboard.

Additional information about the Alaskan who died wasn’t immediately available. A Fairbanks Pioneer Home resident recently hospitalized with the virus died on Wednesday, but it wasn’t clear if that was the person referenced in Friday’s report.

State data shows that 66 Alaskans have died with COVID-19 since the pandemic began here in March. The state’s per capita death rate remains among the lowest in the country.

Alaska’s daily reported cases have hit triple digits for 23 straight days.

The state’s average case rate over 14 days — a number that is used to gauge community spread — keeps rising. As of Friday, much of the state was in a high alert level, with more than 10 cases per 100,000 people.

The Northwest region, at 35.93 cases per 100,000 residents, was closely followed by the Fairbanks North Star Borough with 34.49. Anchorage was at 31.33 and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region was at 30.13. A large Interior region surrounding Fairbanks was at 13.7.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough was at 10 cases per 100,000 on Friday.

Statewide as of Thursday, 51 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 — a new high — while eight other hospital patients were awaiting test results, according to state data.

Of the new cases reported by the state, it wasn’t clear how many patients were showing symptoms of the virus when they tested positive. While people might get tested more than once, each case reported by the state health department only represents one person.

Of the 218 new cases of COVID-19 involving residents, there were 99 new cases in Anchorage plus two in Chugiak and eight in Eagle River; one in Homer and one in Kenai; five in Kodiak; two in Cordova and one in Valdez; two in Healy; 17 in Fairbanks and 10 in North Pole; four in Palmer and 13 in Wasilla; 13 in Utqiagvik; four in Kotzebue; eight in Juneau; one in Skagway; seven in Bethel; and one in Dillingham.

Among communities smaller than 1,000 not identified to protect confidentiality, there were nine in the Bethel Census Area; two in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area; one in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area; one in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area; two in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area; one in Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon; one in Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula boroughs; and two in the Dillingham Census Area.

The state also reported two nonresident cases, one in Utqiagvik and one in an unknown location.

The state’s test positivity rate as of Friday was 5.16% over a seven-day rolling average. The rate reflects the number of positive results divided by total tests performed. Health officials say levels higher than 5% may indicate communities aren’t doing enough testing.

— Zaz Hollander

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