Alaska reports 53 additional COVID-19 deaths on Monday

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:27 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state of Alaska reported an additional 53 deaths related to COVID-19 on Monday, along with 1,387 additional COVID-19 infections over the weekend.

Data on the state’s coronavirus response hub shows that a significant number of COVID-related deaths in Alaska occurred in September. The state has now reported a total of 764 Alaska resident COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began here in March 2020, and a total of 30 nonresident deaths related to COVID-19.

Deaths related to COVID-19 are not always reported to the state right after they occur. These deaths are first vetted through the death certificate review process, a process state health experts say is routine but can sometimes take up to several weeks.

“These deaths occurred from August through November, with the most fatalities in September,” the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services wrote in its daily data summary on Monday.

Of the newly reported deaths, 50 were among residents and three were nonresidents, according to the state health department. They ranged in age from their 80s to people in their 20s and 30s. Of the Alaska residents who died, 24 were from Anchorage, and there were six from Fairbanks, four from Wasilla, three from Palmer, two from the Northwest Arctic Borough, two from the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, two from Ketchikan, one from Kenai, one from Valdez, one from Unalaska, one from Big Lake, one from Sutton-Alpine, one from North Pole and one from the North Slope Borough.

Two of the Alaska residents included in Monday’s data had died out of state, the health department wrote.

The state also reported 1,370 Alaska resident cases of COVID-19 over the last three days, as well as 17 nonresident cases. Of those, there were 445 cases reported to the state on Friday, 641 cases on Saturday and 301 on Sunday.

State data shows new cases of COVID-19 have been declining slightly since the end of September. Case data shows a 10% decrease in COVID-19 cases this week compared to the week of Oct. 25-31. However, 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 571 cases per 100,000 cases is close to four times that of the national case rate.

In a press release Monday, Anchorage Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Savitt said the department is “cautiously optimistic” looking at the last several weeks of COVID-19 cases for the Municipality of Anchorage specifically.

“We remain in a high risk environment or red zone, but appear to be trending downward,” Savitt wrote in the release. “Hospitals remain at near capacity levels. We hope to see those numbers start to decrease soon as well.”

On Monday, the state’s hospital data dashboard showed that, as of Sunday, there were 139 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide. Hospitalizations are down from a record high of 243 late last month.

At least 20 Alaska hospitals are operating under crisis standards of care after the state activated those guidelines for them.

On Monday, the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard showed that 54% of all eligible Alaskans, which now includes the ages of 5 and older, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It also shows 59% of eligible Alaskans age 5 and up have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Of the 1,387 COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend, 1,370 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 425
  • Greater Wasilla area: 147
  • Fairbanks: 108
  • Nome Census Area: 79
  • Greater Palmer area: 60
  • Eagle River: 59
  • North Pole: 40
  • Kotzebue: 33
  • Soldotna: 31
  • Bethel Census Area: 25
  • Nome: 25
  • Chugiak: 24
  • Juneau: 23
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 23
  • Kenai: 22
  • Homer: 21
  • Ketchikan: 21
  • Kodiak: 19
  • Petersburg: 18
  • Metlakatla: 14
  • Bethel: 11
  • Delta Junction: 9
  • Utqiaġvik: 9
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula: 8
  • Houston/Big Lake: 8
  • Anchor Point: 7
  • North Slope Borough: 7
  • Willow: 7
  • Copper River Census Area: 6
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 6
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 6
  • Valdez: 6
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 6
  • Hoonah-Angoon plus Yakutat: 4
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 4
  • Seward: 4
  • Cordova: 3
  • Haines: 3
  • Healy: 3
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough: 3
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 3
  • Nikiski: 3
  • Sterling: 3
  • Tok: 3
  • Wrangell: 3
  • Aleutians East Borough: 2
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 2
  • Kodiak Island Borough: 2
  • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 2
  • Sutton-Alpine: 2
  • Chevak: 1
  • Craig: 1
  • Dillingham: 1
  • Dillingham Census Area: 1
  • Ester: 1
  • Sitka: 1
  • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area: 1
  • Unalaska: 1

The state also reported 17 additional nonresident COVID-19 cases over the last three days, five of which are in Anchorage.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

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