Alaska on Friday reported four deaths and 384 new cases of COVID-19, according to the Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 dashboard.
A record 72 people were hospitalized with the virus in Alaska as of Friday, plus 18 people hospitalized with suspected cases of COVID-19.
Three of the deaths incurred recently, and those cases involved an Anchorage man in his 80s, a Matanuska-Susitna Borough man in his 80s and a woman from the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area in her 60s, according to the state health department. The fourth death, involving an Anchorage woman in her 90s, was identified during a standard review of death certificates.
In total, 81 Alaskans with the virus have died since the start of the pandemic, and Alaska’s death rate per capita remains among the lowest in the country.
Friday’s daily new case tally is the second-highest since the pandemic began, and follows more than a month of triple-digit daily increases, including a record 526 cases reported Sunday.
Of the 380 new resident cases reported by the state Friday, 175 were in Anchorage, plus 15 in Eagle River, five in Chugiak and one in Girdwood; 38 in Wasilla; 22 in Palmer; 20 in Soldotna; 17 in Juneau; 14 in Fairbanks; 12 in Bethel; 10 in Kenai; eight in North Pole; three in Sterling; two in Seward; two in Utqiagvik; two in Kotzebue; two in Sitka; one in Nikiski; one in Kodiak; one in Delta Junction; one in Tok; one in Big Lake; one in Willow; one in Haines; one in Ketchikan; and one in Dillingham.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 people that are not named to protect privacy, there were eight in the Bethel Census Area; five in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area; three in the Northwest Arctic Borough; two in the Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula boroughs; one in the northern Kenai Peninsula Borough and one in the southern Kenai Peninsula Borough; and one in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Another two resident cases were classified as unknown.
There were also four nonresident cases reported Friday: one in Anchorage, one in Wasilla, one in Ketchikan, and one in an unidentified region of the state.
Of the new cases, 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.
The state’s testing positivity rate continued to rise and on Friday reached 8.54% over a seven-day rolling average — a record high. A positivity rate over 5% can indicate high community transmission and not enough testing, health officials have said.
The test positivity rate was highest in the North Slope Borough at 50%, in the Kusilvak Census Area at 34.85% and in the Mat-Su Borough at 18.15%.
— Annie Berman