Alaska reports 3 deaths, over 400 COVID-19 cases over last two days

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 6:24 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state reported more than 400 additional COVID-19 infections on Wednesday that occurred over the last two days, as well as three additional COVID-19 deaths of Alaska residents.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social services recently returned to reporting new COVID-19 cases and data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For the last two days, the health department is reporting 191 new cases among Alaska residents on Tuesday and 243 on Wednesday. There were also seven additional nonresident cases over the last two days.

The state also reported three additional COVID-19-related deaths of Alaska residents on Wednesday: an Anchorage man in his 50s, a Kenai woman in her 70s and a Kodiak man in his 60s. Since the pandemic began in Alaska, the state has recorded a total of 856 Alaska resident deaths and 30 nonresident deaths related to the virus.

Alaska’s COVID-19 cases have been in steady decline since October, when the state was still experiencing a large case surge driven at least in part by the highly contagious delta variant. State case data shows an 11% decrease in cases last week compared to the week of Nov. 24-Nov. 30.

Alaska also now ranks 31st out of all U.S. states for the rate of new COVID-19 cases over the last week, a list the state previously topped for several weeks during the height of the surge. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alaska’s 31st ranking for recent cases is due to a rate of about 208 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days.

This downward trend in cases has led to some areas in Alaska lifting certain COVID-19 mitigation measures. The Anchorage Assembly voted on Tuesday to end the city’s mask requirement a few days early since two out of three local hospitals were no longer using crisis standards of care, and the City of Nome announced on Wednesday that its mask requirement is being lifted as well.

“The Nome community and Bering Strait region are experiencing a decrease in active cases of COVID-19,” a press release from the city read. “Effective immediately, the City of Nome is lifting the face mask requirement for all general indoor public areas.”

The press release noted that masks are still required in certain city buildings in Nome including City Hall, the public safety building and the Richard Foster building.

The state health department reported Wednesday that there are 76 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. This is a significant decrease from the more than 200 COVID-19 patients the state was reporting in October. About 8% of all people currently being hospitalized in the state of Alaska are hospitalized with COVID-19, the state’s hospital data dashboard shows.

By Wednesday, the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard showed that 56% of all eligible Alaskans age 5 and up are now fully vaccinated against the virus, and that 62% have gotten at least an initial vaccine dose. More than 118,000 people have gotten a booster vaccine dose since Aug. 13, the dashboard shows.

Alaska’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests also continues to decline. On Wednesday, state testing data showed Alaska’s rolling average positivity rate was 4.5% over the last week. Health experts say a positivity rate of 5% or above can indicate widespread virus transmission.

Of the 441 COVID-19 cases reported by the state Wednesday, 434 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 161
  • Greater Wasilla area: 52
  • Fairbanks: 36
  • Ketchikan: 29
  • Greater Palmer area: 20
  • Juneau: 15
  • Bethel Census Area: 11
  • Eagle River: 10
  • Hooper Bay: 9
  • Nome: 9
  • Kodiak: 8
  • Sitka: 8
  • Dillingham: 7
  • Houston/Big Lake: 6
  • Nome Census Area: 5
  • Chugiak: 4
  • Homer: 4
  • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 4
  • Willow: 4
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula: 3
  • North Pole: 3
  • North Slope Borough: 3
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 3
  • Delta Junction: 2
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 2
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 2
  • Soldotna: 2
  • Aleutians West Census Area: 1
  • Anchor Point: 1
  • Bethel: 1
  • Chevak: 1
  • Copper River Census Area: 1
  • Dillingham Census Area: 1
  • Girdwood: 1
  • Kotzebue: 1
  • Petersburg: 1
  • Sterling: 1
  • Valdez: 1
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 1

The state also reported seven additional nonresident cases over the last two days — two of which are in Anchorage.

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