Alaska reports 11 deaths, more than 700 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 6:36 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state of Alaska reported 11 additional COVID-19-related deaths on Tuesday as well as more than 700 COVID-19 infections, as hospitalizations due to the virus remain high.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 753 additional COVID-19 cases Tuesday, of which four are among nonresidents. State data shows a 14% decrease in cases the week of Oct. 19-25 compared to the week before, but case rates in Alaska still remain quite high overall.

Alaska still leads the nation for the rate of new cases per capita, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. Alaska’s rate of 682 cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days is more than four times the national average case rate right now.

On Tuesday the state health department reported 11 additional COVID-19 deaths — 10 Alaska residents and one nonresident. It wasn’t immediately clear how recent the newly reported deaths were. The Alaska residents who died were two Anchorage women who were 80 or older, an Anchorage man who was 80 or older, an Anchorage man in his 60s, and Anchorage woman in her 60s, an Anchorage man in his 50s, a Fairbanks man who was 80 or older, a Fairbanks man in his 50s, a North Pole woman in her 70s and a North Pole man in his 70s.

The nonresident who died was a man in his 50s who was diagnosed in Fairbanks.

Since the pandemic began, the state has reported a total of 688 Alaska resident deaths and 26 nonresident deaths that have been related to COVID-19.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus also remains high in Alaska, with the state’s hospital data dashboard showing 241 COVID-19 hospitalizations. More than 20%, or one fifth of the people currently hospitalized in Alaska are hospitalized with COVID-19.

Of the 241 people being hospitalized with the virus, 37 of them are sick enough that they are on a ventilator, the dashboard shows.

At least 20 Alaska hospitals and health care facilities are operating under crisis standards of care ever since the state activated those guidelines for them. Some relief has been found in the form of out-of-state health care workers brought up to Alaska to assist, but the president of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association has said that even if COVID-19 cases level out in the state, it will take longer to see that translate to hospitals in terms of capacity.

Alaska also continues to experience a high rate of positive COVID-19 tests. Testing data shows the state’s average positivity rate over the last seven days is 9.32%. Health experts say the threshold of 5% indicates widespread virus transmission in a community.

The state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard shows that 60% of eligible Alaskans age 12 and older are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while nearly 65% have gotten at least one dose of a vaccine.

Of the state’s major regions, the Juneau region remains the most highly vaccinated, with 80% of its eligible population now fully vaccinated according to the state health department. The Kenai Peninsula Borough and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough remain the two least vaccinated of the state’s major regions, respectively.

Of the 753 COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday, 749 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 185
  • Wasilla: 127
  • Fairbanks: 85
  • Palmer: 65
  • Eagle River: 22
  • North Pole: 21
  • Soldotna: 19
  • Bethel Census Area: 16
  • Kenai: 16
  • Nome: 15
  • Juneau: 14
  • Homer: 13
  • Valdez: 13
  • Dillingham Census Area: 12
  • Chugiak: 11
  • Bethel: 8
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 8
  • Nome Census Area: 8
  • Ketchikan: 7
  • Anchor Point: 6
  • Delta Junction: 6
  • Houston: 5
  • Kodiak Island Borough: 5
  • Utqiagvik: 5
  • Sitka: 4
  • Sterling: 4
  • Big Lake: 3
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula: 3
  • Copper River Census Area: 3
  • North Slope Borough: 3
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 3
  • Wrangell: 2
  • Chevak: 2
  • Kodiak: 2
  • Kotzebue: 2
  • Skagway: 2
  • Sutton-Alpine: 2
  • Craig: 1
  • Dillingham: 1
  • Ester: 1
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 1
  • Girdwood: 1
  • Healy: 1
  • Hooper Bay: 1
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 1
  • Mat-Su Borough: 1
  • Meadow Lakes: 1
  • Nikiski: 1
  • Prince Of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 1
  • Seward: 1
  • Tok: 1
  • Willow: 1
  • Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon: 1

The state also reported for more nonresident COVID-19 cases — one in the North Slope Borough, one in Fairbanks, one in Anchorage and one in an unknown location.

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