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Alaska reports 2 deaths, less than 200 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday

Hospitalizations remain considerably lower than last month as Alaska health officials work to learn about omicron variant
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 4:25 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state of Alaska reported 183 additional COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, as well as two more COVID-19 deaths of Alaska residents. Hospitalizations due to the virus remain lower compared to last month when the state was still dealing with the effects of a prolonged case surge.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 183 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, four of which are among nonresidents. The state’s cases have been steadily dropping since the middle of October as Alaska emerges from a case surge spurred by the highly contagious delta variant. State data shows a 14% decrease in cases last week compared to the week of Nov. 16-22.

Alaska, which for several weeks was first in the nation for its rate of new COVID-19 cases per capita, now ranks 16th out of all states with a rate of 265.7 cases per 100,000 people over the last week.

Also on Tuesday, the state reported two more Alaska resident deaths that were related to the virus. One was an Anchorage woman in her 60s, according to the state health department, and the other was a man in his 40s from the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area. Since the pandemic began in Alaska, the state has recorded a total of 850 Alaska residents and 30 nonresidents whose deaths have been related to COVID-19.

Alaska’s cases and hospitalizations continue to decline as the nation grapples with news of the omicron variant of COVID-19, which has been designated a variant of concern and prompted travel restrictions against countries in southern Africa. First discovered in South Africa, the variant has not yet been detected in Alaska or the U.S.

State health officials are already beginning to study the variant, but there are many unknowns, such as how transmissible the variant is and how effective COVID-19 vaccines will be against it.

The state’s hospital data dashboard shows there are 82 people statewide currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with nine of those patients on a ventilator. This is a significant decrease from just last month, when a record high of 243 COVID-19 hospitalizations was reported in late October.

Alaska’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests has also been decreasing. State testing data shows that Alaska has an average positivity rate of 5.64% over the last seven days. Health experts use the threshold of 5% as an indicator of widespread virus transmission in a community.

The state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard shows that 55% of all eligible Alaskans who are age 5 or older have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that 61% have gotten at least a first vaccine dose. According to state data, more than 106,000 Alaskans have gotten a booster shot of the vaccine since Aug. 13.

Of the 183 COVID-19 cases the state reported Tuesday, 179 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 48
  • Greater Wasilla area: 19
  • Fairbanks: 18
  • Bethel Census Area: 13
  • Greater Palmer area: 11
  • Eagle River: 7
  • Juneau: 7
  • Kotzebue: 7
  • Ketchikan: 5
  • North Pole: 5
  • Houston/Big Lake: 4
  • Seward: 4
  • Dillingham: 3
  • Nome: 3
  • Petersburg: 3
  • Sitka: 3
  • Bethel: 2
  • Girdwood: 2
  • Homer: 2
  • Nikiski: 2
  • Soldotna: 2
  • Anchor Point: 1
  • Copper River Census Area: 1
  • Kenai: 1
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 1
  • Kodiak: 1
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 1
  • Nome Census Area: 1
  • North Slope Borough: 1
  • Wrangell: 1

The state also reported four additional nonresident COVID-19 cases on Tuesday — two in Wasilla and one each in Nome and Fairbanks.

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