Alaska reports 2 deaths, more than 300 COVID cases as hospitalizations decline

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 6:15 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state reported two additional COVID-19-related deaths of Alaska residents on Thursday, along with more than 300 COVID-19 infections. Hospitalizations have continued to decline this week.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 349 additional COVID-19 cases on Thursday, two of which are among nonresidents. Starting on Monday, the state will go back to reporting new COVID-19 cases and other data three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, excluding holidays.

COVID-19 cases have been steadily decreasing in Alaska as the state comes out of a prolonged case surge spurred by the delta variant. State case data shows a 27% decrease in cases last week compared to the week before. Alaska also now ranks 26th out of all U.S. states for the rate of new COVID-19 cases per capita over the last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For several weeks during the height of the case surge, Alaska led the nation in new cases.

Also on Thursday, the state health department reported two additional Alaska residents whose deaths have been related to the virus. They were an Anchorage man in his 20s and a Dillingham Census Area man in his 30s, according to the department.

Since the pandemic began in Alaska, the state has recorded a total of 853 Alaska resident deaths and 30 nonresident deaths.

Hospitalizations due to the virus have also been declining since last month. On Thursday, the state reported 71 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. That’s a significant decrease from just last month when more than 240 hospitalizations were reported in late October.

The state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard shows that 55% of eligible Alaska residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 61% have gotten at least one vaccine dose.

Also on Thursday, Alaska’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests continued to decrease. State testing data shows Alaska’s average positivity rate over the last week is about 5.2% Health experts use the rate of 5% to indicate whether there is widespread transmission of the virus in a community.

Of the 349 COVID-19 cases the state reported Thursday, 347 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 101
  • Greater Wasilla area: 33
  • Ketchikan: 29
  • Greater Palmer area: 20
  • Fairbanks: 17
  • Eagle River: 15
  • Nome Census Area: 14
  • Bethel Census Area: 13
  • Juneau: 13
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 11
  • Kenai: 8
  • North Pole: 8
  • Bethel: 5
  • Copper River Census Area: 5
  • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 5
  • Chugiak: 4
  • Hooper Bay: 4
  • Kotzebue: 4
  • Nome: 4
  • North Slope Borough: 4
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 3
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Borough: 2
  • Chevak: 2
  • Delta Junction: 2
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 2
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 2
  • Metlakatla: 2
  • Petersburg: 2
  • Sitka: 2
  • Soldotna: 2
  • Anchor Point: 1
  • Dillingham: 1
  • Dillingham Census Area: 1
  • Homer: 1
  • Houston/Big Lake Area: 1
  • Seward: 1
  • Skagway: 1
  • Utqiaġvik: 1
  • Valdez: 1

The two nonresident COVID-19 cases reported by the state Thursday are in Wasilla and Ketchikan.

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