With 232 new cases, Alaska hits highest one-day count of new COVID-19 infections

A scanning electron micrograph shows a cell (green) heavily infected with particles (yellow) of SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

A record-high number of Alaskans tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. 

State health officials reported that 230 Alaskans and two-nonresidents across 29 communities now have the virus. 

Most of the people who are newly sickened are Anchorage residents, 128 of them tested positive. But there is also a large, new cluster of 25 in Fairbanks.

To date, more than 9,400 Alaskans have tested positive for the virus both in and out of state. Most of them have recovered, 60 have died. 

For more than two weeks, daily case numbers have hit triple digits.

State health officials reported that Anchorage is hitting its limit in inpatient and ICU beds, though they are occupied primarily by patients who do not have COVID-19. Interior Alaska has 11 inpatient beds available. 

According to a media release from the Department of Health and Social Services 44 people are currently in the hospital with COVID-19 and another 22 are waiting on test results – five of them are on ventilators. The state’s dashboard is currently showing incorrect hospitalization numbers but will be corrected soon, according to the release.

And, while case counts have been skyrocketing in recent weeks – hospitals are not sounding any alarms. 

Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association Chief Executive Jared Kosin said earlier this week that it’s normal for hospitals to get busier this time of year.  But, he also said that it takes time for people to get seriously ill or need medical treatment once they’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Correction: A previous version of this story had an incorrect figure for the total number of cases, it is 232. And the state’s hospitalization dashboard was showing incorrect numbers for the amount of people who are currently in the hospital with COVID-19 or waiting on test results — it is 66.