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Anchorage sets another record with 209 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Published: Oct. 25, 2020 at 7:09 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage’s chief epidemiologist issued a dire warning Sunday regarding COVID-19 and the city.

“This virus is everywhere in the community,” said Dr. Janet Johnson shortly after Anchorage reported 209 new cases. The addition follows 185 confirmed cases Saturday.

Anchorage’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bruce Chandler, said that in the last week, nearly 1,000 people in Anchorage tested positive. Both he and Johnston work for the Anchorage Health Department and said they believe there are multiple reasons why the city has seen high numbers lately.

“Household transmission is the most common, which again, makes sense, because once the virus is in the households it’s a lot harder to distance,” Johnson said.

The virus has also been traced to various workplaces, as the focus of tracking the virus shifts to personal behaviors.

“When we see different types of gatherings that bring people together, and situations where they might let down their guard, take off their masks, eat something and not put it back on,” Johnson said, "that’s where we’re seeing the transmission.”

The rising numbers are also putting a strain on Anchorage hospitals. The daily average number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 is now at 29 cases - four more than the previous week.

“We have nine adult ICU beds out of 74 total adult staffed ICU beds,” said Johnson. “We have seen this number of available beds dropping from a high of 20 on October 15.”

Still, not all of the news regarding the pandemic is bad.

“Clearly, we’re seeing people taking seriously the need to wear masks, keep their bubbles small, and try to avoid crowds,” Johnson said.

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