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DHSS reports 178 new COVID-19 cases, 2 new related deaths

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 6:18 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is reporting 178 new cases of COVID-19 identified in both Alaskans and nonresidents, as well as two new Alaska resident deaths, according to a release sent out Monday evening.

The numbers released Tuesday, which cite reported data from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. March 22, include 173 new cases of coronavirus identified in Alaska residents. These include 63 cases in Anchorage; 38 cases in Wasilla; 13 cases within the Bethel Census Area; 10 cases out of Fairbanks; nine cases each in Eagle River and Palmer; six cases in other areas of the Mat-Su Borough; four cases from Delta Junction; and three cases each out of the Copper River Census Area, Fairbanks North Star Borough, and Ketchikan. Big Lake also reported two cases, and one case was identified in each of the following communities: Bethel, Chugiak, Haines, Healy, Kenai, the Kenai Peninsula South, Kodiak, Seward, Utqiaġvik, and Willow.

There were also five new nonresident cases reported by DHSS. These cases were identified in individuals out of several different communities. Among them is one case out of Anchorage, which was related to the seafood industry; three cases from the North Slope Borough, all of which were part of the oil industry; and a fifth person who is under investigation, and whose purpose for being in the state is also under investigation.

DHSS also said Tuesday that one resident case was removed from the data dashboard, and two nonresident cases were added to it, due to data verification procedures.

The new cases, along with the changes above, bring the total number of Alaska resident cases to 59,165 and the total number of nonresident cases to 2,528.

The two deaths reported were of an Anchorage woman and Fairbanks man, both of whom were in their 70′s. This brings the total resident death toll to 308.

Additionally, 1,329 residents have been hospitalized for COVID-19. Forty people diagnosed with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized; three more are considered persons under investigation for a total of 43 current related hospitalizations. Three of these patients remain on ventilators.

However, as case counts continue to increase, so too do testing numbers and vaccination levels. To date, a total of 1,849,135 tests have been conducted, according to DHSS. At least 29,940 tests conducted in the previous seven days, the department said, with the average percentage of daily positive tests for the previous seven days being 2.45%.

At least 220,568 people have also received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 150,141 are considered fully vaccinated. You can view more data and totals at the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard.

Still, the statewide alert level – which is based on the average daily case rate over 14 days per 100,000 – remains high for Alaska, at 17.92 cases per 100,000. Five regions are also in high alert status, which indicates widespread community transmission. Those regions include the Matanuska-Susitna Region, the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta Region, the Municipality of Anchorage, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and an area referred to as “Other Interior Region.”

Four other regions are at intermediate alert status, which indicates moderate transmission. Just two regions – the City and Borough of Juneau, and an area called “Other Southeast Region” – are at low alert, with minimal transmission.

The full DHSS data dashboard can be viewed online here.

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