Update: Statewide COVID-19 infections reach 14,413

Nine of 50 currently hospitalized are on ventilators

Updated 2:20 p.m., Oct. 26

A surge in the spread of COVID-19 in Alaska continued in triple digits for a 33rd day on Monday, Oct. 26, with 348 newly infected.  This occurred on the heels of a single-day record high of 526 new cases Sunday, Oct. 25.

To date a total of 14,413 people have caught the virus in Alaska, including 13,360 residents and 1,053 nonresidents. Sixty-eight people have died of the virus, all of them residents.

Among the residents 6,302 have recovered, leaving 6,990 active cases. Of the 1,053 nonresidents infected, 646 have recovered, with 407 active cases.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services officials said that clinics and communities statewide have been increasing testing and identifying more cases, which are being reported to the Division of Public Health’s Section of Epidemiology.

The new resident cases identified by DHSS officials include 143 in Anchorage, 59 in Wasilla, 22 in Fairbanks, 19 in Palmer, 13 each in Kenai, North Pole and Soldotna, 10 each in Eagle River and Fairbanks North Star Borough, nine in Chevak, eight in Juneau, five in Sterling, three in Homer, two each in Bethel Census Area, Chugiak, Delta Junction and Dillingham Census Area, and one each in Anchor Point, Big Lake, Kenai Peninsula Borough North, Ketchikan Kodiak, Kotzebue, Petersburg, SE Fairbanks Census Area, Seward, Utqiagvik, Valdez and Willow.

One new nonresident case was under investigation in Anchorage.

One new resident case was added to the data dashboard through data verification.

As of Oct. 25, there were 50 people hospitalized who are diagnosed with COVID-19, with no others under observation. Nine of those hospitalized were on ventilators. Since the pandemic spread to Alaska, 398 people have been hospitalized. The death toll remains at 68.

Statewide numbers for the increase in COVID-19 infections are at an all-time high and Alaska’s overall alert level continued to be high and trending up. DHSS officials are continuing to urge everyone to get tested if feeling ill, wear a mask and practice social distancing and hand washing to help prevent spread of the virus.

Most cases and the most deaths from the virus have been in the state’s largest population areas, led by the Municipality of Anchorage, with 42 of the 68 deaths.

DHSS officials have submitted Alaska’s draft COVID-19 vaccination plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for review, as required for all states. The Alaska COVID-19 vaccine task force prepared that document as part of ongoing preparations for safe, equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine across the state.

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, said they are closely watching the progress of clinical trials to ensure no steps are missed during the trial and data review process.

“For any vaccine made available to Alaskans, safety will remain our top priority,” Zink said.

The task force has already begun meeting with local partners who will play critical roles throughout the vaccine distribution process.

The draft plan and more information on the vaccination planning are on the COVID-19 vaccine information webpage dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/SiteAssets/Pages/HumanCoV/AlaskaCOVID-19VaccinationDraftPlan.pdf.

Statewide updates are provided daily by state health officials Alaska’s COVID-19 dashboard at covid19.alaska.gov.

The DHSS daily report reflects data from midnight to 11:59 p.m. which is posted at noon daily on the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub.

As of Oct. 24, 570,844 tests had been conducted, including 17,427 tests in the previous seven days, DHSS officials said. The average percentage of daily positive test for the previous seven days was 5.85 percent.

Updates on the impact of COVID-19 are posted daily at coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com.

For Cordova updates, visit the city’s COVID-19 dashboard here.