Alaska on Saturday reported 203 new cases of COVID-19, according to the Department of Health and Social Services.
There were no new virus-related deaths reported Saturday. In total, 199 Alaskans and one nonresident have died with COVID-19 since cases were first detected in the state in March.
The cases recorded Saturday follow multiple days of lower case tallies compared with the weekslong surge that taxed the state’s health care system and left many hospitalized or dead after they contracted the illness. Half of Alaska’s virus deaths were reported in the last six weeks.
On Saturday, there were 75 Alaskans hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, while another two had suspected virus cases. COVID-19 patients made up roughly 10% of hospitalizations statewide, and there were 46 adult intensive care units available statewide by Saturday.
Officials are urging everyone to avoid holiday gatherings this season and limit celebrations to include only members of their household. Though hospitals are able to handle the current number of patients, they continue to be strained and case counts will need to continue their decline in order to ease that pressure, health officials said this week.
Of the 200 COVID-19 cases recorded among Alaska residents on Saturday, there were 65 in Anchorage, plus seven in Chugiak, four in Eagle River and three in Girdwood; 33 in Fairbanks and six in North Pole; 16 in Utqiagvik; 12 in Bethel; six in Wasilla, five in Palmer, one in Big Lake and one in Houston; six in Kodiak; five in Seward, four in Soldotna, one in Sterling and one in Kenai; four in Sitka; three in Juneau; two in Nome; one in Douglas; one in Ketchikan; one in Petersburg; one in Unalaska; and one in Chevak.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 people not named to protect privacy, there were three resident cases in the Bethel Census Area; two in the Kusilvak Census Area; one in the northern Kenai Peninsula; one in the southern Kenai Peninsula; one in the Fairbanks North Star Borough; one in the North Slope Borough; and one in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area.
There were also three nonresident cases recorded in unspecified parts of the state.
While people might get tested more than once, each case reported by the state health department represents only one person.
It is not clear how many of the people who tested positive for the virus were showing symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about a third of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic.
— Morgan Krakow
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