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Alaska News

Tracking COVID-19 in Alaska: 215 new cases reported Sunday, no new deaths

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: October 18
  • Published October 18
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The state on Sunday reported 215 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths, according to the Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 dashboard.

State data shows that 67 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 25 straight days. The current surge of cases exceeds any previous increases and case numbers are projected to continue to rise.

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

The Northwest region, at 39.06 cases per 100,000 residents, was closely followed by the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region with 37.19. Anchorage was at 32.23 and the Fairbanks North Star region was at 33.29. A large Interior region surrounding Fairbanks was at 17.06.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough was at 11.48 cases per 100,000 on Sunday.

Statewide as of Sunday, 45 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, while 28 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 211 new cases of COVID-19 involving residents, there were 83 new cases in Anchorage plus four in Chugiak, five in Eagle River and one in Girdwood; three in Homer, three in Kenai, one in Nikiski, one in Seward and five in Soldotna; 27 in Fairbanks and six in North Pole; two in Delta Junction; six in Palmer and 14 in Wasilla; six in Utqiagvik; four in Kotzebue; five in Juneau; seven in Bethel; and two in Chevak.

Among communities smaller than 1,000 not identified to protect confidentiality, there were 12 in the Bethel Census Area; four in the Northwest Arctic Borough; two in the Fairbanks North Star Borough; two in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area; three in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area; one in Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula boroughs; and one in the north Kenai Peninsula and one in south Kenai Peninsula.

The state also reported four nonresident cases: three in Anchorage and one in Prudhoe Bay.

The state’s test positivity rate as of Sunday was 4.78% 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.

— Tess Williams

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