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November sees dip in Alaska’s monthly COVID-19 case count

KYES News at 10
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 9:00 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska’s COVID-19 case count was on a downward trajectory in November, which is a stark contrast to just two months prior.

“We’re continuing to see fewer and fewer cases every week, which is great,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin.

November saw about 12,500 cases reported, which is about half the cases compared to both September and October.

Alaska's monthly COVID-19 case count
Alaska's monthly COVID-19 case count(KTUU)

“We’ve seen that incidents decrease really since early October, and so that’s a really good sign that we are on a downward trajectory,” McLaughlin said.

However, while the overall count is trending downward, McLaughlin said COVID-19 cases aren’t declining in all parts of the state.

“There are some places where we still have fairly high transmission rates, for example, down in Ketchikan, also in the Kusilvak area,” he said.

As the omicron variant is emerging across the United States and the world, the delta variant remains the predominant strain in the U.S.

“We haven’t seen Omicron detected in Alaska yet. It could happen any day,” McLaughlin said.

Not much is known about omicron, and just weeks after it was reported, scientists are still scrambling to learn about it and how it could impact the pandemic’s trajectory.

“At this point, it’s too early to say whether or not this particular strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus is going to be associated with more severe disease, less severe disease or about equivalent to Delta,” McLaughlin said.

At the beginning of November, children 5 and older were approved to get vaccinated. McLaughlin repeated his assertion that vaccination is the best tool to decrease transmission, severe cases of COVID-19 and death.

More information on COVID-19 vaccination is available here.

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