Alaska reports 50 new COVID-19 cases, breaking record for state’s biggest one-day increase

Alaska recorded 50 new coronavirus cases from Wednesday, but no new deaths or hospitalizations. It’s the biggest one-day increase in infections in Alaska since the pandemic began, breaking the prior record set earlier this week.

The latest COVID-19 cases include 39 Alaskans and 11 nonresidents, according to the latest data update Thursday from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

The jump follows a series of double-digit, one-day case increases in Alaska for much of June. And it comes as case numbers surge throughout much of the country, in the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend.

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By the end of Wednesday, the total number of COVID-19 infections among Alaskans topped 1,000. Of 1,017 cases, 535 are considered recovered and 468 are active. There have been 14 deaths.

The newly-diagnosed Alaskans are mostly from Southcentral Alaska. They include 13 from Anchorage, nine from Wasilla, four from Palmer and three from Seward.

The newly-diagnosed nonresidents tested positive across the state, from Unalaska to Petersburg to Seward to Anchorage. At least four work in the seafood industry. It’s unclear why most of the others were in Alaska. The state has not yet listed the reasons in its database.

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By the end of Wednesday, 18 people were in the hospital in Alaska with COVID-19 or suspected to have the disease. One was on a ventilator.

Also, the state reported that nearly 116,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted — up roughly 1,500 from a day before.

Despite the rising COVID-19 infections in Alaska, the state continues to have one of the country’s lowest case counts per capita.

In preparation for the upcoming holiday weekend, the city of Seward is limiting capacity for campgrounds and businesses with indoor seating. It has also canceled events. Earlier this week, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz started requiring face masks in indoor, public spaces.

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Reach reporter Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@alaskapublic.org or 907-550-8447.