Alaska COVID-19 Case Count Summary: Sept. 23, 2020

Daily Case Count Update

CASE COUNT SUMMARY, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020

DHSS today announced 57 new people identified with COVID-19 in Alaska. 56 are residents in 15 communities plus one resident with location under investigation:  Anchorage (22), Fairbanks (10), North Pole (3), Utqiaġvik (3), Delta Junction (2), Juneau (2), Kenai (2), Palmer (2), Soldotna (2), Wasilla (2), and one each in Bethel Census Area, Bristol Bay and Lake and Peninsula Boroughs combined, Eagle River, Hoonah-Angoon and Yakutat combined, and Sterling.     

One new nonresident case was reported in Anchorage with the purpose for the visit still under investigation.

Two resident cases have been removed from the data dashboard through data verification processes.  This brings the total number of Alaska resident cases to 7,004 and the total number of nonresident cases to 937. The current statewide alert level, based on the average daily case rate for the past 14 days, is high.

Of the 56 Alaska residents, 26 are male and 28 are female and two are unknown. Four are under the age of 10; eight are aged 10-19; 20 are aged 20-29; six are aged 30-39; five are aged 40-49; seven are aged 50-59; three are aged 60-69; and  three are aged 70-79.  

There have been a total of 270 hospitalizations and 45 deaths with four new hospitalizations and no new deaths reported yesterday.  Individuals who no longer require isolation (recovered cases) total 2,477.

A total of 433, 198 tests have been conducted, with 10,696 tests conducted in the previous seven days. The average percentage of daily positive tests for the previous seven days is 2.24%.

COVID-19 Data Hub updates

On September 23 the following changes were implemented on the DHSS COVID-19 data hub to the hospital and testing dashboards:

Hospital dashboard

Previously, the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA) collected data for the hospital dashboard directly from facilities through a bed survey and provided it to DHSS for reporting on the data hub. Hospitals will now report their patient and bed data directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the HHS Protect TeleTracking system, and DHSS will use that data for the hospital dashboard. This new way of reporting will allow hospitals to more efficiently respond to required data reporting changes while continuing to report their patient and bed capacity numbers.

All general acute and critical access hospitals will be reporting through TeleTracking as of September 23. During the transition, the bed capacity numbers and COVID-19 confirmed and under investigation hospitalizations will not be updated on September 23 but will reflect data reported on September 22. Data reported on September 24 will be based solely on TeleTracking and reporting on the hospital dashboard will resume as usual.

Other changes include:

  • Data for military and behavioral health hospitals may not be included as they have different reporting requirements. Data for these hospitals can be accessed on the dashboard by selecting ‘No’ on the “General Acute Care and Critical Access Facilities Only?” ASHNHA and DHSS are working with these hospitals to determine the appropriate processes for them.
  • Historical data prior to July 23 for the ‘Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied” and ‘Total PUI COVID Beds Occupied’ charts will be temporarily unavailable until the TeleTracking system is updated to include the older data. Historical data should be available early next week and can still be accessed through the Summary Table Archive.

Testing Dashboard

Changes were made to the coding that assigns the geographical location to tests. This was done by reviewing the nearly 30,000 results that were listed as ‘geography unknown’ to better analyze patterns in the data and determine the facilities at which these specimens were collected for testing. The coding changes have now allocated these previously unknown tests to the physical location where medical care was provided, and have decreased the tests with unknown geography from approximately 30,000 to about 7,500. The text in the FAQs and methods documents remains accurate and geography is assigned based on the physical location of the ordering provider/the patient care encounter.

This change will result in an increase in tests assigned to different geographical areas with Anchorage, Northwest Arctic Borough, Kodiak and Cordova/Valdez Census Area seeing the biggest differences. This will also result in changes to testing percent positivity for those regions.

Notes: This report reflects data from 12 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on September 22 that posted at noon today on the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub. There is a lag between cases being reported on the DHSS data dashboard and what local communities report. Each case is an individual person even if they are tested multiple times. Total tests are a not a count of unique individuals tested and includes both positive and negative results. The current number of hospitalized patients represents more real-time data compared to the cumulative total hospitalizations. To view more data visit: