Alaska reports 1,095 COVID cases, a new daily high

a row of cars lined up behind a sign that reads "covid-19 drive-thru testing"
Cars line up for drive-through Covid-19 testing on the Alaska Native Medical Campus on Aug. 24, 2021. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

The state health department reported a record 1,095 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

It’s Alaska’s highest-ever daily tally of new cases, and it comes a day after doctors at Providence Alaska Medical Center announced the hospital was rationing care due to staffing shortages and an overload of patients infected with the coronavirus.

The state on Wednesday also announced two additional COVID-related deaths, an Anchorage man in his 70s and an Anchorage man in his 60s.

There are 201 people hospitalized with the virus, 34 of them on ventilators, according to Wednesday’s report. COVID hospitalizations hit a record 210 on Monday.

Hospital workers, however, have cautioned that the state’s tally of hospitalizations is likely an undercount.

Local health officials have also underscored that the ongoing surge of cases has led to a backlog in testing, and also in state reporting of new infections.

RELATED: Alaska’s largest hospital now rationing care due to COVID surge

In Juneau, the city’s emergency manager, Mila Cosgrove, told KTOO it’s a good idea to look at the seven-day average test positivity rate because it helps to flatten peaks and valleys in the number of positive tests that are reported each day. 

Right now, Alaska’s seven-day average test positivity rate is at a record high 9.6%. Health officials say that anything above 5% indicates that more testing needs to be done.

The 1,095 COVID-19 cases reported by the state on Wednesday include 1,068 Alaskans and the rest nonresidents.

KTOO’s Rashah McChesney contributed reporting to this story.

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