Alaska reports 20 virus-related deaths, 12 from October

A public health worker in a tent outside Juneau International Airport bags a freshly collected nasal swab for COVID-19 testing.
A public health worker in a tent outside Juneau International Airport bags a freshly collected nasal swab for COVID-19 testing on Sept. 1, 2020. (Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

The state health department Friday reported 20 additional resident deaths related to COVID-19 dating to April, though more than half occurred last month.

The announced deaths followed death certificate reviews, said Elizabeth Manning, a department spokesperson. Twelve of the deaths occurred in October, five in September, two in August and one in April, she said by email.

Since the start of the pandemic, the state has reported 832 resident deaths related to COVID-19.

State health officials this week expressed cautious optimism about lower COVID-19 case numbers after an extended surge in cases that strained hospital capacity. The state’s chief medical officer said numbers recently have been trending downward after hitting a bit of a plateau.

She continued to urge measures such as vaccination, distancing and wearing masks.

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