Alaska reports 4 deaths, more than 800 COVID cases Friday as hospitalizations remain high

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 9:04 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state of Alaska reported four COVID-19 deaths on Friday along with more than 800 additional COVID-19 infections, as hospitalizations due to the virus remain at high levels.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 817 COVID-19 cases on Friday, eight of which are among nonresidents. State case data shows a 16% decrease in cases the week of Oct. 22-28 compared to the week before, but cases in the state remain high overall.

Alaska still leads the nation in the rate of new cases per capita, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alaska’s current rate of 628.5 cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days is more than four times the national case rate.

The state reported four additional deaths of Alaska residents on Friday that were related to the virus. The four people who died, according to the state health department, were a Soldotna man who was 80 or older, a Nome man in his 60s, an Anchorage man in his 70s and an Anchorage man in his 50s.

Since the pandemic began in Alaska, the state has reported a total of 699 resident COVID-19 deaths and 26 nonresident deaths tied to the virus.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 across Alaska has remained well over 200 all this week. The record high number of 243 COVID-19 hospitalizations was reported on Wednesday, and by Friday the state’s hospital data dashboard showed 232 people hospitalized with the virus statewide.

Of those patients, 33 are sick enough that they are on a ventilator. The dashboard showed that 19%, or nearly one fifth, of all Alaskans currently hospitalized are hospitalized with COVID-19.

At least Alaska 20 and health care facilities hospitals are operating under crisis standards of care since the state activated those guidelines early this month.

Alaska also continues to see a high rate of positive COVID-19 tests, with state testing data showing an average positivity rate of 9.17% over the last week. That rate peaked at nearly 11% on Oct. 12.

According to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard, more than 60% of all eligible Alaska residents age 12 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It also shows that just over 65% of eligible Alaskans have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Of the 817 COVID-19 cases reported by the state Friday, 809 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 272
  • Greater Wasilla area: 76
  • Bethel Census Area: 64
  • Fairbanks: 57
  • Greater Palmer area: 34
  • Kenai: 33
  • Juneau: 30
  • Soldotna: 20
  • Nome Census Area: 19
  • North Pole: 19
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 19
  • Nome: 15
  • Ketchikan: 12
  • Delta Junction: 10
  • Eagle River: 10
  • Homer: 8
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 8
  • Kodiak: 8
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula: 7
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 7
  • North Slope Borough: 7
  • Anchor Point: 6
  • Chugiak: 6
  • Kotzebue: 6
  • Girdwood: 5
  • Willow: 5
  • Bethel: 4
  • Houston/Big Lake area: 4
  • Sitka: 4
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 3
  • Nikiski: 3
  • Petersburg: 3
  • Tok: 3
  • Cordova: 2
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 2
  • Haines: 2
  • Sterling: 2
  • Yakutak plus Hoonah-Angoon: 2
  • Chevak: 1
  • Copper River Census Area: 1
  • Craig: 1
  • Dillingham: 1
  • Hooper Bay: 1
  • Prince Of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 1
  • Seward: 1
  • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area: 1
  • Sutton-Alpine: 1
  • Valdez: 1
  • Wrangell: 1
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 1

The state also reported eight additional nonresident COVID-19 cases throughout the state on Friday, three of which are in Wasilla and two of which are in Anchorage.

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