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COVID-19 spike in Alaska continues with 2 new deaths, 447 new cases over last 2 days

COVID-19.
COVID-19.(CDC)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:32 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A statewide surge in COVID-19 cases continued Friday with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reporting 447 new cases and 10 new hospitalizations over the last two days. The state also reported two additional COVID-19-related deaths of Alaska residents.

Both of the deaths were recent, health officials reported. One was a Petersburg man in his 70s and the other was an Anchorage man in his 60s. These deaths bring the total of Alaska resident deaths that were related to COVID-19 to 377.

The state reports new cases on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, excluding holidays. On Friday, the state health department reported there were 198 new cases on Wednesday and 249 new cases on Thursday.

Hospitalizations continued to rise this week as well, with Anchorage hospitals reporting they are operating close to capacity. COVID-19 cases aren’t necessarily driving those capacity trends, officials said, but are a “concerning” contributing factor.

On Friday, the state health department reported there are 79 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, along with one person being hospitalized with a suspected case. Of those patients, 12 people are on ventilators.

In Anchorage, there are 14 adult ICU beds still available out of 76, according to state data, and 41 adult non-ICU beds available out of 646.

The statewide alert level — based on the average daily case rate over the last 14 days per 100,000 people — remains high, with an average case rate of 19.2 per 100,000. The Municipality of Anchorage is also in the high alert level, with an average case rate of 22 cases per 100,000.

COVID-19 surges continue in the communities of Sitka, Cordova and Juneau. The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s average daily case rate of 29.8 cases per 100,000 is now higher than Anchorage’s.

Of the 447 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday, 427 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 137
  • Sitka: 64
  • Wasilla: 30
  • Juneau: 23
  • Fairbanks: 19
  • Bethel Census Area: 17
  • Soldotna: 15
  • Copper River Census Area: 10
  • Eagle River: 10
  • Kenai: 10
  • Nome: 10
  • Seward: 10
  • Cordova: 7
  • Kodiak: 7
  • North Pole: 5
  • Palmer: 5
  • Tok: 5
  • Valdez: 5
  • Chugiak: 4
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 4
  • Unalaska: 4
  • Dillingham Census Area: 3
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 3
  • Aleutians East Borough: 2
  • Bethel: 2
  • Delta Junction: 2
  • Hooper Bay: 2
  • Chevak: 1
  • Douglas: 1
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 1
  • Healy: 1
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 1
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough: 1
  • Kodiak Island Borough: 1
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 1
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 1
  • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 1
  • Sterling: 1
  • Wrangell: 1

The state also identified 20 new nonresident COVID-19 cases — five in Anchorage, two in Fairbanks, two in Ketchikan, two in Kodiak, two in the mining industry in the Northwest Arctic Borough, two seafood industry workers in Unalaska, one in Sitka, one in Juneau and three in unknown locations of the state.

As of Friday, 57% of Alaskans age 12 and older have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard, and nearly 52% are fully vaccinated.

In Anchorage, 60.7% of residents 12 and older have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and close to 54% are fully vaccinated, according to the state data.

The state has conducted more than 2.46 million COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began and currently has a seven-day average positivity rate of 5.42%.

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