Alaska reports 3 deaths, more than 600 COVID cases Wednesday

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 5:45 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska reported another three COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, along with more than 600 additional COVID-19 infections. Hospitalizations due to the virus remain below 200, after staying stubbornly high for more than two weeks.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 668 additional cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with eight of those cases being among nonresidents.

Cases in Alaska have been continuously decreasing since the week of Sept. 22. There were 479 fewer cases during the week of Oct. 27 to Nov. 2 than there were the week before, according to state case data, or a 10% decrease.

However, Alaska continues to maintain the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases per capita in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national case rate per 100,000 residents over the last week is 149.8, while according to the state health department, Alaska’s current rate of new cases per capita over the last week is 588.7. The state with the second-highest case rate in the U.S. is Montana at 468.8, according to the CDC.

The state health department also reported three additional COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday. All of them were Alaska residents. According to the health department, they were a Fairbanks woman who was 80 or older, a Soldotna man in his 60s and a Copper River Census Area man who was 80 or older. There have now been 711 Alaskans who have died with COVID-19, and 26 nonresidents.

Alaska also reported 195 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide. That number had remained over 200 for more than two weeks before dipping back down to 196 on Tuesday.

There are 29 hospitalized COVID-19 patients who require ventilators and only 27 adult ICU available in the entire state. There are six adult ICU beds available in Anchorage and none in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Mat-Su Regional Medical Center has had 40 or more COVID-19 patients since Oct. 12.

There are now 60.5% of Alaska residents age 12 and up who been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard shows, and 65.4% who have had at least one dose.

Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula census area leads the state with the highest rate of initial vaccine doses, at 94.18% of residents 12 and above who have gotten a first shot. The Aleutians East Census Area is second at 92.03% of eligible with at least one dose, and the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area is the lowest in the state with 41% of eligible residents having gotten an initial vaccine dose.

Of the 36,041 COVID-19 tests conducted last week, 8.17% were returned positive. Health experts say a test positivity rate over 5% indicates widespread transmission of the virus.

The state remains in the “high” alert level with over 100 cases per 100,000 residents over the last week, while 27 of 28 individual census areas also hold a “high” alert level. The Aleutians West Census Area is the only census area in Alaska not at a “high” alert level. With just two cases in the last seven days, Aleutians West is at a “moderate” alert level.

Of the 668 COVID-19 cases reported by the state on Wednesday, 660 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 201
  • Fairbanks: 111
  • Greater Wasilla area: 72
  • North Pole: 34
  • Eagle River: 26
  • Greater Palmer area: 26
  • Petersburg: 16
  • Juneau: 12
  • Soldotna: 12
  • Tok: 12
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 11
  • Kenai: 11
  • Nome: 9
  • Utqiaġvik: 9
  • Nome Census Area: 8 in 4 communities
  • Salcha: 8
  • Valdez: 8
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 8 in 3 communities
  • Homer: 7
  • Ketchikan: 6
  • Cordova: 5
  • Kodiak: 5
  • Kotzebue: 4
  • North Slope Borough: 4
  • Willow: 4
  • Anchor Point: 3
  • Bethel Census Area: 3 in 3 communities
  • Chugiak: 3
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 3
  • Fritz Creek: 2
  • Healy: 2
  • Houston/Big Lake Area: 2
  • Prince Of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 2 in 2 communities
  • Aleutians East Borough: 1
  • Bethel: 1
  • Copper River Census Area: 1
  • Delta Junction: 1
  • Dillingham Census Area: 1
  • Girdwood: 1
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 1
  • Mat-Su Borough: 1
  • Seward: 1
  • Sterling: 1
  • Sutton-Alpine: 1

The state also reported eight nonresident COVID-19 cases on Wednesday — two were in Juneau and one each were reported in Fairbanks, Palmer, Seward, Soldotna, Unalaska and Wasilla.

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