A day after the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine gained approval, Alaska announced a single-day record of 18 deaths.
Five of the deaths reported on Friday are recent, according Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, and 13 occurred over the past several months and were identified during death certificate reviews.
The recent deaths include a Kenai woman in her 90s, a Kenai man in his 70s, an Anchorage woman in her 70s, an Anchorage man in his 70s and a Utqiaġvik man in his 60s, according to the state.
The less recent deaths include an Anchorage women in her 90s, two Anchorage women in their 80s, an Anchorage man in his 80s, an Anchorage women in her 70s, an Anchorage man in his 70s, an Anchorage woman in her 50s, an Anchorage man in his 50s, a Bethel Census Area woman in her 80s, a Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area man in his 80s, a Wasilla woman in her 80s, a Southeast Fairbanks Census Area man in his 60s and a Kusilvak Census Area resident in her 20s.
The newly counted deaths bring the total number of Alaskans who have died with COVID-19 to 175, according to state data. In 2017, the most recent year on record, 175 deaths would be the seventh leading cause of death in Alaska behind cancer, heart disease, accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and suicide, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition to the deaths, the state reported 533 new people —527 residents and six nonresidents —tested positive for COVID-19.
Among the new positives, according to the state, are 200 people in Anchorage, 56 in Bethel, 54 in Fairbanks, 50 in Wasilla, 25 in Kodiak, 17 in Eagle River, 13 in the Kusilvak Census Area, 13 in North Pole, 11 in Utqiaġvik, 10 in Kenai, nine in Homer, nine in Palmer, seven in Chugiak, seven in Soldotna, five in the Bethel Census Area, four in Juneau, three in Kenai Peninsula Borough South, three in Kenai, three in Sterling, two in Chevak, to in Fairbanks North Sar Borough, two in Nome, two in North Slope Borough, two in Unalaska and one each in Bristol Bay/Lake and Peninsula, Cordova, Craig, Delta Junction, Healy, Kenai Peninsula Borough North, Ketchikan, Seward, Valdez-Vordova Census Area and Willow.
There have now been 39,101 cases among residents and 1,396 among nonresidents, according to the state.
• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.