]This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. Coronaviruses, including the newest one, are named for the spikes that cover their outer surface like a crown, or corona in Latin. Using those club-shaped spikes, the virus latches on to the outer wall of a human cell, invades it and replicates, creating viruses to hijack more cells. (NIAID / NIH)

]This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. Coronaviruses, including the newest one, are named for the spikes that cover their outer surface like a crown, or corona in Latin. Using those club-shaped spikes, the virus latches on to the outer wall of a human cell, invades it and replicates, creating viruses to hijack more cells. (NIAID / NIH)

COVID-19 case numbers soar over the weekend

State broke its single-day record twice.

The state set a new single-day record for COVID-19 cases on Saturday, then set a new record on Sunday.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 881 COVID-19 cases over the weekend. Of the new cases, 355 — 353 residents, two nonresidents — were announced on Saturday and 526 cases — 520 residents, six nonresidents —were announced Sunday.

With yesterday and today’s case counts, it is clear that Alaska has entered an acceleration phase with regard to the…

Posted by Governor Mike Dunleavy on Sunday, October 25, 2020

The bulk of Sunday’s cases were in Anchorage, 193 cases, and Fairbanks, 65 cases. However, nine other communities, including Juneau, reported double-digit, single-day increases. Wasilla reported 49 cases, Juneau 34, Palmer 18, Soldotna 17, Chevak 16, Eagle River 13, Bethel Census Area 11, Kenai 11 and North Pole 10. Five cases in Juneau and one in Douglas were reported on Saturday.

[Stressed freshman miss out on college experience amid pandemic]

All but three regions in the state are now in the high alert zone, according to Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The state reported six new hospitalizations and no new deaths over the weekend. Hospital capacity is holding steady, according the department.

The uptick in cases is attributed to widespread community transmission, increased testing and efforts of Division of Public Health to enter backlogged case data, according to a DHSS news release.

“We’re doing all we can, with the full support of our governor, to respond vigorously to this increase in cases,” said DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum in the release. “While DHSS provides support to Alaska’s communities, we’re also asking all Alaskans to step up their COVID prevention efforts to help flatten the curve again. While the vast majority of today’s cases are younger than age 60, the saturation of the virus in the community increases the likelihood that our vulnerable populations such as older Alaskans or others at risk of severe illness will be infected, and these are the groups we are especially trying to protect. This won’t last forever, but right now we are asking all Alaskans to come together and slow this community spread and protect the most vulnerable among us.”

DHSS advised people to isolate if they feel cold-like symptoms, avoid crowded places and gatherings, stayat least 6 feet away from people outside of their household, wear a mask when around people outside of their household and wash their hands often.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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