ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska reported six more deaths from the coronavirus — the highest number of deaths reported in a single day since the pandemic began — but most were from a review of death certificates of people who died last month or even earlier and had not been officially reported, according to the state Department of Health and Social Services.
The state also reported 128 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the most recent available data.
The deaths include three men in their 60s, one man in his 50s and two men in their 70s.
One of the men in their 60s died “recently,” the state said. The other five deaths were identified as COVID-19 deaths by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, which reviews all death certificates across the country and may identify coronavirus deaths that were not immediately reported to the state, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Three deaths happened in August and one occurred in July. The timing for the fifth death was not specified by the Daily News.
The state had previously reported a high of four deaths on Aug. 25.
In total, 52 Alaska residents have died from COVID-19.
As of Friday, there were 4,424 active cases of the coronavirus in the state, with 39 people hospitalized from the disease. Of Alaska’s 153 intensive care unit beds, 85 were in use.
There have been 8,202 confirmed cases in the state since the pandemic began.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.