The state of Alaska on Wednesday reported 108 new coronavirus infections according to the Department of Health and Social Services’ COVID-19 dashboard.
No new deaths were reported, and Alaska’s death rate is currently the lowest in the country. In total, 56 Alaskans have died with the virus since the pandemic began here in March.
The number of active cases of COVID-19 among Alaska residents was 3,711 on Wednesday, a drop from 3,800 the previous day.
During a call with public health officials Wednesday, state pharmacist Coleman Cutchins said the reason why active cases have been declining in recent days despite high daily case counts is that the state has recently been able to catch up on reporting information that was previously delayed.
“It looks as though active cases are declining when really we are catching up on reporting recovered cases,” he said.
There were also 458 total active cases among nonresidents as of Wednesday.
By Wednesday, there were 33 people currently hospitalized who have COVID-19, the state health department reported. Another 20 people who were hospitalized were suspected to have COVID-19 and were awaiting test results.
Of the new cases, it wasn’t clear how many patients were showing symptoms of the virus when they tested positive.
Of the 105 new cases of COVID-19 involving residents, there were 62 in Anchorage; 13 in Fairbanks; three in Palmer; three in Utqiagvik; three in Sitka; two in Kotzebue; two in Kodiak; two in Juneau; one in Homer; one in Soldotna; one in North Pole; one in Tok; one in Wasilla; and one in Douglas.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 not identified to protect confidentiality, the state reported two cases in the Nome Census Area; three in the Northwest Arctic Borough; and four in the Bethel Census Area.
There were two new nonresident cases reported in Anchorage and one in Fairbanks.
The state’s testing positivity rate as of Wednesday was 2.87% over a seven-day rolling average. The rate can include multiple tests on the same person.
Positivity rate is considered an important indicator of whether a community or state is doing enough testing to find coronavirus infections and stop the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization has said countries with broad testing should have a positivity rate that stays below 5% for 14 days.