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Alaska on Wednesday reported 413 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths but more people hospitalized with the virus than ever, according to the Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 dashboard.
In total, 84 Alaskans with the virus have died since the start of the pandemic. Alaska’s overall death rate per capita remains among the lowest in the country.
A total of 86 people were hospitalized with the virus in Alaska as of Wednesday, the highest since the pandemic began in March. Another nine hospital patients were suspected of having COVID-19, according to state data. The state on Wednesday showed the state’s ICU capacity in the red zone: more than 75% occupied.
The state’s hospital capacity is a concern given the rapidly accelerating number of cases, health officials say. The virus is spreading largely among friends, families and co-workers at gatherings, sporting events and work.
All but two regions of the state were considered to be in high alert, meaning widespread community transmission is occurring.
Of the 405 new resident cases reported by the state Wednesday, there were 157 in Anchorage, plus one in Chugiak, and seven in Eagle River; two in Homer, 17 in Kenai, two in Nikiski, two in Seward, 16 in Soldotna, three in Sterling; six in Kodiak; 39 in Fairbanks and 13 in North Pole; one in Delta Junction; 66 in Wasilla, seven in Big Lake, nine in Palmer and one in Willow; one in Utqiagvik; two in Kotzebue; 14 in Juneau; one in Ketchikan; five in Sitka; eight in Bethel; and one in Chevak.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 people that are not named to protect privacy, there were two resident cases in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area; one in Denali Borough; one in the Fairbanks North Star Borough; one in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area; two in the Nome Census Area; three in the Northwest Arctic Borough; one in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area; one in the Aleutians East Borough; and 12 in the Bethel Census Area.
There were also eight new nonresident cases: three in Anchorage, one in Soldotna, one in Delta Junction, one in Prudhoe Bay, and two in unknown locations.
As of Wednesday, there were 10,652 active cases of the virus among Alaska residents and nonresidents in the state. A total of 7,124 people were considered recovered.
Of the new cases, it is not reported 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 as of Tuesday was 7.12% over a seven-day rolling average, after reaching a high of over 8% late last week. A positivity rate over 5% can indicate high community transmission and not enough testing, health officials have said.