This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient.	(THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/National Institutes of Health)

This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/National Institutes of Health)

State reports 24 COVID-19 deaths

Only 1 of the deaths happened recently, according to the state.

The state health department on Wednesday announced the deaths of 24 Alaskans — only one is described as recent.

The 23 other deaths were reported after death certificate reviews and occurred over the “past several months,” according to Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

The one recent death was a North Pole woman in her 70s, according to the state. The other deaths include a North Pole man in his 80s, two Bethel Census Area women in their 70s, two Wasilla men in their 60s, a Wasilla man in his 40s, a Palmer woman in her 80s, a Palmer man in his 60s, an Eagle River man in his 60s, three Anchorage men in their 80s, two Anchorage men in their 70s, three Anchorage women in their 70s, an Anchorage woman in her 60s, a Kenai man in his 70s, a Homer woman in her 60s, a Kodak man in his 70s, a Kodiak woman in her 60s and a Kodiak Island Borough woman in her 60s.

One death, an Anchorage man in his 60s, was also removed from the state’s total after final review of his death certificate, according to the state health department.

The new deaths bring the state’s total to 251, according to state data. So far, there have been two nonresident deaths, according to the state.

In addition to the deaths, the state reported 157 new cases among residents and 10 new cases among nonresidents. Those bring the total of resident cases to 50,732 and the total number of nonresident cases to 1,661, according to the state.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services also announced Wednesday that the number of vaccinations administered in the state had surpassed resident cases. So far, 59,392 people in Alaska have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to state data, and 13,270 people have received both of the doses required for full protection.

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, said in a release that while the milestone is encouraging, Alaskans should still continue to take steps, such as social distancing and wearing masks, to mitigate spread of COVID-19.

“Until we can protect more people through vaccination, we can all – including those who have been vaccinated – help keep the virus under control,” she said. “Keep wearing masks, maintain physical distance from others, keep your social circles small, get tested if you feel sick or may have been exposed, and when it’s your turn to do so, please consider getting vaccinated.”

Contact the Juneau Empire newsroom at (907)308-4895.

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