‘Skyrocketing’ cases among Alaskans in their 20s and 30s driving new spike

Screen shot of the Alaska’s coronavirus dashboard reflecting the spike in cases as of October 19, 2020.

Alaska recorded three straight days of more than 200 coronavirus cases beginning on Friday as a COVID-19 surge continues in the state. 

Anchorage continues to account for about half of the state’s cases. But Fairbanks, the North and Northwest Arctic, and the Y-K Delta have also seen sharper increases over the last few weeks. 

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Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have started to rise in the past days, though hospitals still report having some free capacity. 

State Epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin says that the new cases have been linked to many different kinds of gatherings, but there is a demographic group that has seen the steepest increase. 

“We’re seeing really skyrocketing cases in adults in their 20s, through their 30s, followed by adults in their 40s to 50s. And, but we’re also seeing increases in cases in children, as well as older adults,” he said.

At a press conference last week, he said there is a regional difference between the most recent surge and the first and second waves. 

“We’ve got wider dispersion of cases than we had a couple months ago. We’re seeing more communities impacted more outbreaks occurring and in some of our smaller, more rural communities,” he said.

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Health officials are reminding Alaskans to take health precautions seriously as winter weather pushes people indoors.