Two Alaskans die of COVID-19 as case count climbs

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 in yellow. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Two more Alaskans have died of COVID-19 as the case count continues to climb throughout the state.  

One of the deaths, first announced yesterday by Foundation Health Partners in Fairbanks, was confirmed to be a Fort Yukon resident by Dacho Alexander, a Gwichyaa Zhee tribal official. The 67-year-old’s death was the fourth at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. It was reported as the 21st COVID-related death reported in the state during the pandemic. 

RELATED: Despite months of aggressive measures, Fort Yukon struggles with outbreak

Another Alaskan died after being evacuated from Bethel. That patient had been medevaced to Anchorage over the weekend, according to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. That death doesn’t yet show up in the state’s numbers. 

The state also reported 104 new cases of COVID-19 with a majority — 60 — among Anchorage residents.  

Another four were reported in Palmer, while three were reported in each of the communities of Fairbanks, Eagle River, Wasilla, Utqiagvik, Juneau, and the Northwest Arctic Borough. Two cases were reported in Kenai, Sitka, and Kotzebue, with the other cases reported throughout the state. 

The number of people hospitalized confirmed to have COVID-19 rose to 36 from 35, with two people under investigation for having the disease still hospitalized. 

This story has been corrected to reflect that the patient who died of COVID-19 was not a resident of the Yukon-Kuskokwim region, but was quarantining there when they tested positive.

Lex Treinen is covering the 2023 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at

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