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Alaska sees fewer new cases of COVID-19 reported in December than November

A breakdown of DHSS numbers shows difference of about 2,000 cases
(WBRC)
Published: Jan. 2, 2021 at 9:34 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - In December, the state of Alaska saw nearly 2,000 fewer new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported than in November, according to data from the Department of Health and Social Services. Across the state, DHSS reported more than 14,410 new cases in December, while November saw 16,221, according to daily case count summaries from the department.

DECEMBER CASES

COVID GFX DEC
COVID GFX DEC(KTUU)

On December 31, the state had reported a total of 46,986 cases since the pandemic began, as well as 206 deaths.

According to case count summaries from DHSS, 85 of the deaths were reported in December, but a number of those were found through death certificate reviews, meaning they likely happened in months prior.

COMPARING DECEMBER TO PREVIOUS MONTHS

COVID GFX DEC
COVID GFX DEC(KTUU)

Previously, case counts had been nearly doubling each month since at least September.

But in December, Alaska was far from that, with thousands fewer new cases reported than in November. To continue the tread of case counts doubling, Alaska would have needed more than 60,000 new cases, while the state saw just more than 14,000.

Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink said the decline came after November 12, when Governor Mike Dunleavy publicly asked Alaskans to keep an eye on case count numbers and to be careful as the pandemic continued.

“About a week later, we kind of peaked, which we would expect because the numbers are about a week to two behind,” she said. “And then really since that peak, it’s been a steady decline. And that was a whole bunch of Alaskans making a whole bunch of small very personal decisions that I think is really helping and making a huge difference.”

With the case count numbers decreasing, Dr. Zink said she is still cautioning people to not be lax with their decisions, particularly without an improvement of reported deaths in December. According to the same daily case count summaries from DHSS, December saw 85 deaths reported in Alaska, while there were 38 in November.

COVID GFX DEC
COVID GFX DEC(KTUU)

Again, however, it is likely not all of these deaths happened in the months they were reported, as the state reports deaths found through death certificate review when discovered. The state is also no longer reporting active or recovered numbers because of a backlog of cases, DHSS said.

For more information, visit the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Coronavirus Response data dashboard.

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