Novel coronavirus

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.

Credit: NIAID-RML

After a weekend where Alaska saw 200 new COVID-19 cases and two more virus-related deaths, a day without reports of any new hospitalizations or deaths was a welcome reprieve Monday. 

State health officials reported 75 new resident cases spread across the state. These new numbers included 10 Fairbanks residents and two residents of North Pole. 

More than half of the cases reported Monday were Anchorage residents. The others were scattered among Wasilla, Juneau, Utqiagvik and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area. 

The state categorizes recovered cases as individuals who no longer require isolation. About a third of the state’s total 6,353 are listed as recovered by the state. The number of recovered cases could be higher than listed, Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink explained recently, noting the lag in contact tracing across the state.

Two additional nonresidents also tested positive, according to a daily case report from the state health department, one of whom is a North Slope oil worker located in the Aleutians East Census Area. 

With no new hospitalizations reported Monday, the state holds steady at 246 total confirmed COVID-19 hospital patients to date.

“There are currently 36 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who are hospitalized and three additional patients who are considered persons under investigation,” the daily case summery explained. 

Only one of the confirmed COVID-19 patients is currently hospitalized in the Interior. 

Nevertheless, the state’s COVID-19 alert level remains high. The alert was increased from intermediate to high late last week with state health officials citing an increased 14-day daily case average. 

State health workers have performed a total of 403,413 tests for the disease since mid-March. More than 1,500 of those have been performed in the last three days. 

More than 22,500 tests have been performed in the Fairbanks North Star Borough to date.

A significant portion of confirmed cases in the state have been individuals between the ages of 20-29. Monday’s case summary noted that 24 of the total 75 resident cases reported were individuals within that age range. 

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.