Novel coronavirus

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.


Updated 5:17 p.m.: State health officials announced another fatality linked to COVID-19 Saturday, that of a Fairbanks man in his 90s.

This brings the state's coronavirus death toll to 67. Thirteen of those have been of residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

Also Saturday, the state reported 204 new cases of the virus, including 15 Fairbanks residents and four residents from North Pole. The new numbers bring the Fairbanks North Star Borough's resident case total to 1,707. About 45% of those cases are listed by the state as recovered.

Anchorage residents accounted for 90 of the cases reported Saturday. The others were spread across the state and included three nonresidents who tested positive in Anchorage and Wasilla.

A total of 10,760 Alaskans have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic first surfaced in the state in mid-March. Resident cases across Alaska have been on a steady rise since August, according to data visualizations provided by the state health department.

"Cases are not just increasing but accelerating across Alaska," a Saturday clinical report noted.

Currently there are 50 confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals around the state along with an additional 18 patients who are under investigation for the disease and awaiting test results. Nine of these patients are on ventilators, according to the state.

The current statewide alert level, based on the average daily case rate over 14 days per 100,000 population, is high at 23.7 per 100,000. Exceeding 10 average daily cases per 100,000 population is considered high risk.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough continues to have the second-highest 14-day daily case average at 33.96 per 100,000 population.

Other regions also in the high alert category include the following:

• Northwest region: 36.45 cases per 100,000

• Anchorage municipality: 31.99 per 100,000 population

• YK-Delta region: 31.76 per 100,000

• Other Interior region: 16.45 per 100,000 population

• Juneau City and Borough: 13.18 per 100,000 population

• Matanuska-Susitna region: 10.6 per 100,000 population

• Kenai Peninsula Borough: 10.52 per 100,000 population

The Fairbanks borough's average percent of daily positive tests over the last seven days has lowered since last week, currently sitting at 7.71%. A few days ago, the test positivity percentage was around 11%.

A total of 31,518 tests have been performed in the Fairbanks borough since the pandemic first began. Statewide, a total of 530,500 tests have been performed to date.

The average percentage of daily positive tests for the previous seven days is 4.94% statewide.

More than half of the 201 resident cases reported Saturday were confirmed among Alaskans under the age of 40.

Thirty-four of the new cases were found among individuals under the age of 20. An additional 74 cases were confirmed in individuals ages 20-39; 57 cases were found in Alaskans ages 40-59; 22 are aged 60-69; 10 are aged 70-79 and four are aged 80 or older.

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.

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