Alaska reports 10 deaths, 1,270 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 5:57 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska reported another 10 COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday and more than 1,200 additional COVID-19 infections while the state’s COVID-19 rate remains the highest in the nation.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services again released a high single-day report of new COVID-19 cases. Top state health officials explained last week that case counts will continue to be high at the state works through a backlog of data — daily reports include both older and new cases, they said.

The 10 newly reported deaths were all recent, the state health department said. They were a Fairbanks man in his 50s, a North Pole woman in her 40s, a Palmer man who was 80 or older, an Anchorage man who was 80 or older, an Anchorage man in his 70s, three Anchorage men in their 60s, a Soldotna man in his 40s and a man in his 60s from the Copper River Census Area.

Since the pandemic began in Alaska, the state has reported a total of 556 Alaska resident deaths and 21 nonresident deaths related to the virus.

COVID-19 hospitalizations also remain high, with the state’s hospital data dashboard showing that as of Wednesday, there were 203 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide. That figure has remained over 200 for weeks as the number of COVID-positive patients in the state’s hospitals increases.

A handful of hospitals — including the state’s largest, Providence Alaska Medical Center — are now operating under crisis standards of care, which allow treatment and resources to be prioritized for patients who stand the best chance of benefiting from them. Gov. Mike Dunleavy also enabled crisis care standards for all state hospitals should they need it, and more than 400 out-of-state workers are coming to Alaska to help lessen the burden.

The hospital dashboard showed that as of Wednesday, 36 people were sick enough with COVID-19 that they are on ventilators. It also showed there was only one adult ICU bed left open in Anchorage as of Wednesday, and 16 still available statewide.

Alaska’s current surge is driven by the highly contagious delta variant — which made up 100% of the COVID-19 cases sequenced in Alaska the week of Sept. 5 — and it’s showing no signs of slowing. On Wednesday, State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin said Alaska’s case rate is on a steep upward trajectory.

“Alaska is leading the pack unfortunately right now,” McLaughlin said. “Our incidence rate is the highest in the nation by a large margin.”

Of the 1,270 new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday, 1,234 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 429
  • Fairbanks: 101
  • Wasilla: 93
  • Kenai: 58
  • Soldotna: 46
  • Juneau: 45
  • Palmer: 41
  • Bethel Census Area: 39
  • Kodiak: 39
  • Eagle River: 35
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 35
  • Petersburg: 31
  • Ketchikan: 27
  • North Pole: 21
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 18
  • Bethel: 17
  • North Slope Borough: 15
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 13
  • Homer: 11
  • Dillingham: 10
  • Chugiak: 9
  • Dillingham Census Area: 9
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula: 7
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 6
  • Kotzebue: 6
  • Nome Census Area: 6
  • Aleutians East Borough: 5
  • Copper River Census Area: 5
  • Delta Junction: 4
  • Nome: 4
  • Sterling: 4
  • Sutton-Alpine: 4
  • Big Lake: 3
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 3
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 3
  • Utqiagvik: 3
  • Yakutak plus Hoonah-Angoon: 3
  • Anchor Point: 2
  • Craig: 2
  • Houston: 2
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough: 2
  • Nikiski: 2
  • Seward: 2
  • Skagway: 2
  • Tok: 2
  • Willow: 2
  • Wrangell: 2
  • Chevak: 1
  • Fritz Creek: 1
  • Healy: 1
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 1
  • Kodiak Island Borough: 1
  • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area: 1

The state also reported another 36 nonresident COVID-19 cases across the state.

Alaska’s vaccine monitoring dashboard shows that just over 60% of eligible residents age 12 and older are now fully vaccinated, and that more than 63% have gotten an initial dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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