The total number of COVID-19 cases passed 2,000 this week and the Mat-Su Borough School District announced the short-term closures of three local high schools.

Houston Jr./Sr. High, Mat-Su Career and Technical High and Wasilla High are all closed through Friday, according to an update provided by district officials Wednesday evening. There were nine new cases reported in Valley schools Wednesday. There were two additional cases each at Wasilla Middle, Mat-Su Career and Tech and Snowshoe Elementary, and one new case each at Pioneer Peak Elementary, Shaw Elementary and Redington Jr./Sr.

There have been 162 cases reported at Valley schools in the last 14 days.

There were 69 new cases reported in the Mat-Su Borough Wednesday. It’s the sixth time that at least 69 cases were reported on a single day since Oct. 24. The borough’s total now stands at 2,101, as of Wednesday night. Of that total, there have been 1,355 in Wasilla, 584 in Palmer, 55 in Big Lake, 17 in Houston, 10 in Sutton, four in Meadow Lakes and one in Knik-Fairview. There are also 26 cases designated in the other area.

The borough’s case rate is now at 55.36, with 825 total cases reported during the past 14 days. The borough has a seven-day positivity rate at just more than 13 percent.

There were 493 cases reported in Alaska Wednesday, and four additional COVID-19 related deaths. There have been 96 total deaths reported in Alaska that have been related to the coronavirus. As of Wednesday night, the state reports 101 people currently hospitalized with COVID1-9, and another 16 hospitalized who are suspected to have COVID-19. There are 45 adult ICU beds currently available in the state.

Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at editor@frontiersman.com.

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