Alaska reports more than 500 COVID-19 cases over the weekend, no new deaths

Rate of positive COVID-19 tests falls below 5% for first time since July
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 5:23 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state reported over 500 additional COVID-19 infections on Monday from over the last three days, but no additional Alaska resident deaths. The number of people hospitalized with the virus grew slightly over the weekend.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has gone back to reporting new COVID-19 cases and other data three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The state does not update its COVID-19 data on holidays.

The state health department reported 558 COVID-19 cases on Monday — 309 cases on Saturday, 51 on Sunday and 198 reported Monday. All cases are reported out to the public by the state the day after being reported to the state. Of the 558 total cases reported for the last three days, eight of them are among nonresidents.

No additional COVID-19-related deaths were reported on Monday. Since the pandemic began in Alaska in March 2020, the state has recorded a total of 853 Alaska resident deaths that were related to COVID-19, and 30 deaths of nonresidents.

Alaska’s COVID-19 cases have been steadily declining since September and October, when the state was in the midst of a large case surge spurred in part by the highly-contagious delta variant. State case data shows a 12% decrease in COVID-19 cases last week compared to the week of Nov. 22-28.

For weeks, Alaska also was ranked first in the nation for its rate of new COVID-19 cases per capita during the recent surge. Now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alaska has fallen down that ranking and is now only 29th out of all states for its rate of new cases, which is about 255 cases per 100,000 people over the last week. The current national average COVID-19 case rate is close to 219 per 100,000 over the last week.

The state’s number of COVID-19 hospitalizations did climb slightly over the weekend. The state health department reported there are 77 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. Of those, 12 patients are on a ventilator. While this is up from the 71 COVID-19 hospitalizations reported by the state on Friday, it’s still a significant decrease compared to the more than 200 COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in October.

Alaska’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests also continues to decline. On Monday, the state health department reported that Alaska’s average positivity rate is 4.84% over the last seven days. This is the first time that rate of positive tests has fallen below 5% since July when Alaska’s case surge began. 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 56% of eligible Alaskans age 5 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that 62% have gotten at least an initial vaccine dose. According to the dashboard, more than 116,000 Alaskans have gotten a vaccine booster shot since Aug. 13.

Of the 558 COVID-19 cases reported by the state on Monday, 550 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 164
  • Greater Wasilla area: 61
  • Fairbanks: 32
  • Ketchikan: 32
  • Greater Palmer area: 27
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 25
  • Juneau: 22
  • Eagle River: 20
  • Nome Census Area: 16
  • Homer: 13
  • Kenai: 12
  • North Pole: 10
  • Kotzebue: 8
  • Soldotna: 8
  • Copper River Census Area: 7
  • Hooper Bay: 7
  • Houston/Big Lake: 7
  • Seward: 6
  • Anchor Point: 5
  • Bethel: 5
  • Bethel Census Area: 5
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula: 5
  • Dillingham: 5
  • Kodiak: 5
  • Metlakatla: 5
  • Nome: 4
  • Chugiak: 3
  • Dillingham Census Area: 3
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 3
  • Chevak: 2
  • Delta Junction: 2
  • Haines: 2
  • Nikiski: 2
  • Petersburg: 2
  • Sitka: 2
  • Denali Borough: 1
  • Girdwood: 1
  • Healy: 1
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough- North: 1
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough- South: 1
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough: 1
  • Kodiak Island Borough: 1
  • North Slope Borough: 1
  • Skagway: 1
  • Sterling: 1
  • Utqiaġvik: 1
  • Valdez: 1
  • Willow: 1

The state on Monday reported eight additional nonresident cases of COVID-19 — two in Anchorage, two in Kenai and one each in Fairbanks, Homer, Soldotna and Juneau.

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