Sharp increase in hospitalizations as COVID case tally rises by 20

A microscopic image of coronavirus

The number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Alaska nearly doubled between Monday and Tuesday.

State health officials reported that by Tuesday, 22 people were in the hospital who had either tested positive for COVID-19 or were suspected to have the disease. Three of them are on ventilators. 

RELATED: Patient at Anchorage transitional care center is Alaska’s latest coronavirus death

The state is reporting that another 20 Alaskans have tested positive for the virus, plus two more non-residents. Of those, nine are from Anchorage, nine are from the Kenai Peninsula Borough, one is from Sitka and one is from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. 

That brings the total number of confirmed cases among Alaskans to 593. About 66% of Alaskans who have gotten sick with the virus have recovered. Eleven people have died. 

The outbreak at the Providence Transitional Care Center continues.

By Wednesday afternoon, 17 patients and 26 caregivers had tested positive for the disease, according to Mikal Canfield, a spokesman for Providence Health & Services Alaska. That’s about a third of the center’s patients and nearly 20% of its staff. One of the patients diagnosed with the disease died on Sunday.

The center is the site of the state’s largest coronavirus outbreak. It shares a campus in East Anchorage with Providence Extended Care, a long-term care facility that serves mostly elderly people. One caregiver has tested positive there so far. Providence is doing a third round of testing on the campus starting Thursday. 

The state has reported that nearly 68,000 tests have been performed, though some people have been tested more than once — so that’s not equal to the number of people in the state who have been tested. 

Reporter Tegan Hanlon in Anchorage contributed to this story. This story has been updated.