19 more Alaskans hospitalized with COVID-19

Red billowy objexxt with blue rods latching onto them
A scanning electron micrograph of a cell (blue) heavily infected with particles of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Image captured from a patient sample at a federal lab in Maryland. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Nineteen more Alaskans were hospitalized with COVID-19, the state health department reported on Wednesday. 

The new cases pushed the number of confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations to 150 for the first time of the pandemic, as the number of free ICU beds in the state dropped to just 24. In Anchorage, where the bulk of the state’s healthcare capacity is located, the number of free ICU beds is down to six, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

Over a dozen more Alaskans are in the hospital and suspected of having COVID-19. 

The state reported 689 new cases of COVID, with over a third of those coming from the Mat-Su Borough. Officials warned last week that Mat-Su case numbers were likely to be inflated as data processors enter positive cases after a lab failed to report its number to the state. 

Alaska is currently the eighth-worst state in the United States in terms of new weekly COVID cases per capita, according to the New York Times. 

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Lex Treinen covers culture, homelessness, politics and corrections for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at ltreinen@alaskapublic.org.