Alaska reports 20 more COVID-19 deaths, over 500 cases Friday

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 2:32 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state of Alaska reported 526 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional COVID-19-related deaths on on Friday.

Alaska has been on a steady decline in the rankings of the states with the highest case rates in the U.S., and has now dropped to ninth highest in the nation with a rate of 369.5 cases per 100,000 residents over the last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 526 cases reported on Friday, 517 were among Alaska residents and nine were listed as nonresident cases, all of which remain under investigation. The health department reported that the 20 additional deaths were from April through October, with most occurring in October. Deaths related to COVID-19 are not always reported immediately to the state, and the procedure for examining death certificates can sometimes take weeks to finish.

All 20 of the COVID-19-related deaths reported Friday were among Alaska residents who ranged in age from their 50s to their 80s. According to the state health department, there were six from Wasilla, four from Anchorage, four from Palmer, two from Fairbanks, and one each from the Dillingham Census Area, Houston/Big Lake area, Ketchikan and Utqiaġvik.

Of the 20 deaths reported Friday, nine were women and 11 were men. There have now been a total of 832 Alaskans who have died from COVID-19, and 30 nonresidents.

The state health department reported 30 new COVID-19 hospitalizations on Friday, bringing the total number up to 136 people across the state who are hospitalized with COVID-19. Those 136 COVID-19 hospitalizations accounts for 11.1% of all hospitalizations in Alaska. There are 23 adult ICU beds available in Alaska with just five open adult ICU beds in Anchorage, and none in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. There are 18 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 who are on ventilators.

The health department also released their weekly case update on Friday. A total of 60% of Alaskans ages 5 and older have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 55% of eligible Alaskans have become fully vaccinated. The health department reported data from vaccine breakthrough cases from a period of Jan. 16 through Nov. 13 of this year, which shows that 70% of all cases, 84% of all hospitalizations and 81% of Alaska resident deaths of those 12 and older have been among people who were not fully vaccinated.

Alaska remains at a high alert level as a state with a case rate of 397.6, according to the health department. Of the 28 boroughs and census areas in Alaska, 25 are also at a high alert level. Haines Borough is at a substantial alert level, the Aleutians West Census area is listed as moderate and Skagway Municipality is the only area in the state with a low alert level.

Of the 35,174 COVID-19 tests conducted over the last week. State testing data shows Alaska has an average positivity rate of 6.64% over the last week.

Of the 526 additional resident COVID-19 cases reported Friday, 517 of them were identified among residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 117
  • Greater Wasilla area: 54
  • Fairbanks: 38
  • Juneau: 34
  • Ketchikan: 29
  • Bethel Census Area: 24 in eight communities
  • Kenai: 23
  • Bethel: 19
  • Eagle River: 18
  • Nome: 18
  • Kotzebue: 16
  • Petersburg: 13
  • Greater Palmer Area: 12
  • North Pole: 12
  • Nome Census Area: 11 in four communities
  • Cordova: 6
  • Houston/ Big Lake Area: 6
  • Soldotna: 6
  • Copper River Census Area: 5 in two communities
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 5 in two communities
  • Willow: 5
  • Chugiak: 4
  • Denali Borough: 4 in two communities
  • Hooper Bay: 3
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 3 in two communities
  • Utqiagvik: 3
  • Wrangell: 3
  • Bristol Bay/ Lake and Peninsula: 2
  • Girdwood: 2
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 2 in two communities
  • Kodiak: 2
  • North Slope Borough: 2 in two communities
  • Sitka: 2
  • Sterling: 2
  • Chevak: 1
  • Dillingham: 1
  • Dillingham Census Area: 1
  • Homer: 1
  • Hoonah-Angoon and Yakutat combined: 1
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 1
  • Metlatkatla: 1
  • Nikiski: 1
  • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 1
  • Sutton/ Alpine: 1
  • Valdez: 1
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 1

The state reported nine nonresident cases, one at an undetermined location, three in Anchorage, two in Juneau, and one each in Fairbanks, Ketchikan and Palmer.

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