Alaska reported four deaths in people with COVID-19 and 144 new cases on Wednesday, according to the Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 dashboard.
One death was a Juneau resident in her 60s who died early Tuesday morning and was reported by local officials the same day, according to a state health department spokesman. It wasn’t immediately clear if the other three deaths reported Wednesday happened recently.
State data indicates that the deaths reported Wednesday include three people from Anchorage and one from Juneau.
Sixty-four Alaskans have died with COVID-19 since the pandemic began here in March. Still, the state’s death rate per 100,000 residents remains among the lowest in the country.
Tuesday marked the 21st straight day that daily reported cases have hit triple digits. The last surge in Alaska was in July, but case counts leveled off and then declined. State officials warn high numbers are expected to continue due to broad community spread of the virus.
Statewide as of Tuesday, 40 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 while 16 other hospital patients were awaiting test results, according to state data.
Of the new cases reported by the state Wednesday, 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 144 new cases of COVID-19 involving residents, 89 were in Anchorage, plus two in Chugiak and 11 in Eagle River; one was in Fritz Creek, one was in Homer, and one was in Soldotna; 11 were in Fairbanks and two were in North Pole; one was in Palmer and two were in Wasilla; four were in Utqiagvik; three were in Kotzebue; five were in Juneau; one was in Sitka; and one was in Bethel.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 not identified to protect confidentiality, there was one case each in the southern Kenai Peninsula; four in Nome Census Area; one in Northwest Arctic Borough; one in Bethel Census Area; and one in Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula boroughs.
There was one nonresident case reported Wednesday in Anchorage.
The state’s test positivity rate as of Wednesday was 4.48% over a seven-day rolling average. The rate reflects the number of positive results divided by total tests performed. Health officials say levels over 5% may indicate communities aren’t doing enough testing.