Alaska reports 3 deaths, 867 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

COVID-19 hospitalizations have declined for the last 2 days in Alaska
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 8:24 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state reported more than 800 additional COVID-19 infections on Wednesday and three new Alaska resident deaths, while COVID-19 hospitalizations declined over the last two days.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 867 additional cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, 10 of which are among nonresidents. The state also reported three new COVID-19 related deaths of Alaska residents.

The three deaths were all recent, according to the state health department. They were a two Anchorage men in their 70s and one Anchorage man in his 60s. Since the pandemic began in Alaska in March 2020, the state has reported a total 564 Alaska resident deaths and 21 nonresident deaths that have been related to COVID-19.

Alaska still has the highest rate of new cases per capita in the country.

On Tuesday, doctors at two of the state’s largest hospitals noted that COVID-19 hospitalizations appear to have plateaued this week. The state’s hospital dashboard on Wednesday showed that, as of Tuesday, there were 184 people being hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide. That’s down from the 194 COVID-19 patients reported by the state on Tuesday and from 216 reported by the state Monday.

“This week, we have some signs of optimism,” said Dr. Michael Bernstein, chief medical officer at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

However, hospitals are still stressed and not out of the woods yet.

“I’m still worried with where we’re at with the number of community cases out there,” said Dr. Bob Onders, administrator for Alaska Native Medical Center. “That it’s still going to be a challenge for a while.”

The hospital dashboard on Wednesday showed there are 35 people sick enough that they are on ventilators. According to the data, there were three adult ICU beds left open in Anchorage as of Tuesday, and 28 left available statewide.

The current COVID-19 surge in Alaska is being largely driven by the highly contagious delta variant, which according to state data accounted for 100% of the COVID-19 cases sequenced in Alaska the week of Sept. 12.

After reporting vaccination rates of 60% and higher for Alaska’s eligible population for several days last week and on Monday, the state health department corrected what it said was a discrepancy in that data.

“As part of our continuous data quality checks, the data team noticed a slight overcounting of age-specific fully-vaccinated rates, primarily for the 65+ population,” said a statement from department spokesperson Clinton Bennett. “To correct this, the data team applied revisions to the dashboard code. This caused the fully vaccinated rates to go down between Monday and Tuesday for 12+ and 65+, but not for any of the 1+ dose rates, or for the fully vaccinated rate for all ages. This issue has now been fixed and all vaccine data shown on the dashboard yesterday and today are using the corrected code.”

The state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard shows that more than 58% of Alaska residents age 12 and older are fully vaccinated, and that 63.6% have gotten at least an initial dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

State data show that Alaska’s average positivity rate for COVID-19 tests over the last seven days is nearly 10%.

Of the 867 additional COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday, 857 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following locations:

  • Anchorage: 362
  • Fairbanks: 84
  • Eagle River: 46
  • Soldotna: 43
  • Wasilla: 40
  • Kenai: 37
  • Bethel Census Area: 32
  • North Pole: 30
  • Kodiak: 17
  • Palmer: 17
  • Juneau: 15
  • Chugiak: 12
  • Homer: 11
  • Girdwood: 8
  • Nome: 8
  • Dillingham: 7
  • Sterling: 7
  • Bethel: 6
  • Ketchikan: 6
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 6
  • Denali Borough: 5
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 4
  • Petersburg: 4
  • Sitka: 4
  • Utqiagvik: 4
  • Valdez: 4
  • Kotzebue: 3
  • Nome Census Area: 3
  • North Slope Borough: 3
  • Seward: 3
  • Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon: 3
  • Chugach Census Area: 2
  • Copper River Census Area: 2
  • Delta Junction: 2
  • Ester: 2
  • Healy: 2
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 2
  • Anchor Point: 1
  • Bristol Bay/Lake and Peninsula: 1
  • Chevak: 1
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 1
  • Haines: 1
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 1
  • Nikiski: 1
  • Prince Of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 1
  • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area: 1
  • Unalaska: 1
  • Wrangell: 1

The state also reported 10 additional nonresident cases throughout Alaska on Wednesday.

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