While number of vaccinated Alaskans increases, state remains in high alert level

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Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 8:24 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state is in the high alert level when it comes to the novel coronavirus, according to state health officials during a conference with reporters on Wednesday.

The large panel included everyone from doctors to scientists who have been following the numbers for months.

During the meeting, officials said state COVID-19 cases are increasing. The state has an average daily case rate over the last 14 days of 20 per 100,000 people. Any number above 10 puts the state in the high alert level.

Currently, nearly 32% of Alaskans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Officials are urging people now more than ever to get the vaccine.

“It’s important to stress, that vaccinations are our way out of this pandemic. Vaccines are how we treat viruses as a whole, for the most part,” said Coleman Cutchins, with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. “If you look at how way we eliminated polio, the way we control measles, the way we control influenza, [it’s] all through vaccination.”

State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin said there are large benefits to getting the vaccine.

“You don’t have to be isolated from your friends, and you can still go out and socialize, and be active and go climb mountains and all that kind of stuff with your friends,” he said.

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