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338 new COVID-19 cases reported in Alaska on Friday

Hospitalizations remain high with state reporting zero adult ICU beds left in Anchorage
Coronavirus.
Coronavirus.(AP)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 3:30 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Hospitalizations held steady, but still high, at the end of the week as the state reported another 338 new COVID-19 infections on Friday.

The state reported no additional deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday, leaving a total of 395 COVID-related Alaska resident deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to state data.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 116 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday, up slightly from earlier in the week. The state on Thursday corrected a reporting error on the hospital data dashboard that had resulted in an inflated count of COVID-positive hospital patients.

The state’s hospital data dashboard on Friday showed zero adult ICU beds left open in Anchorage out of 65. There were still 26 adult ICU beds available statewide out of 122.

Alaska’s statewide alert level remains high, with an average daily case rate over the last seven days of 289.9 cases per 100,000, indicating widespread virus transmission. The state recently transitioned to using four separate levels when reporting alert levels for different communities: low, moderate, substantial and high. As of Friday, the state health department reported only five communities have alert levels lower than “high.”

While Alaska is starting to see more COVID-19 cases attributed to vaccine breakthrough — meaning those cases are detected in people who are two weeks past completing their series of a vaccine — state data shows the vast majority of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are still occurring in people who aren’t vaccinated.

According to the most recent weekly case update by the health department, published on Thursday, from Jan. 1 through Aug. 7, “92% of all cases, 94% of all hospitalizations, and 96% of deaths among Alaska residents ... were in people who were not fully vaccinated.” That means just 8% of cases, 6% of hospitalizations and 4% of deaths during that time period were attributed to vaccine breakthrough.

Out of the 338 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday, 313 of them were identified among residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 127
  • Homer: 27
  • Wasilla: 17
  • Juneau: 16
  • Kodiak: 16
  • Soldotna: 15
  • Fairbanks: 11
  • Seward: 11
  • Eagle River: 9
  • Ketchikan: 9
  • Palmer: 7
  • Anchor Point: 6
  • North Pole: 6
  • Kenai: 5
  • Chugiak: 4
  • Valdez: 4
  • Bethel: 3
  • Cordova: 2
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 2
  • Hooper Bay: 2
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 2
  • North Slope Borough: 2
  • Sitka: 2
  • Denali Borough: 1
  • Dillingham: 1
  • Dillingham Census Area: 1
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 1
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 1
  • Sutton-Alpine: 1
  • Unalaska: 1
  • Utqiaġvik: 1

The state also identified an additional 25 nonresident cases of COVID-19 on Friday — nine in the tourism industry in Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula, five in Anchorage, two in Fairbanks, two in Soldotna, two in Valdez and one each in Eagle River, Juneau, Ketchikan, Unalaska and Wasilla.

As of Thursday, the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard showed that 59% of all Alaskans age 12 and older have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and that just over 53% are fully vaccinated. The Juneau region remains the most highly vaccinated region in the state, with 75% of people 12 and older there fully vaccinated.

That’s compared to 55% of people 12 and older in Anchorage who are fully vaccinated. The Kenai Peninsula at 45% and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough at 37% have the two lowest rates of full vaccination.

Since the pandemic began, the state has processed more than 2.58 million COVID-19 tests and currently has a seven-day average positivity rate of 7.01%.

The state has resumed reporting new COVID-19 cases every weekday, excluding holidays. The next report will come out on Monday.

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