Alaska reports 1 death, 422 COVID-19 cases over the last 3 days

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations continue to decline
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 9:16 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state reported one additional death of an Alaska resident and 422 additional COVID-19 infections over the weekend, as Alaska’s case rate and hospitalizations continue to fall.

On Monday, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 422 COVID-19 cases over the last three days — 236 for Friday, 128 for Saturday and 58 for Sunday. Cases get reported out to the public the day after they are reported to the state. The state health department now reports new data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only, excluding holidays.

Of the 422 cases reported over the weekend, just six of them are among nonresidents.

The state did report one additional COVID-19-related death of an Alaska resident on Monday. The person was a Ketchikan man in his 60s. Since the pandemic began in Alaska in March 2020, the state has officially recorded a total of 857 Alaska resident deaths and 30 nonresidents deaths that were related to the virus.

State case data shows that COVID-19 cases in Alaska continue to decrease. There was a 25% decrease in cases last week compared to the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 5, according to the state’s online case dashboard. Alaska, which at the height of the COVID-19 case surge driven by the delta variant was ranked first in the nation for its rate of new COVID-19 cases, now ranks 30th out of all U.S. states.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alaska’s current case rate of 193.7 per 100,000 people over the last week is now lower than the national average case rate, which is just over 246 per 100,000.

Also on Monday, the state and the Municipality of Anchorage announced the detection of Alaska’s first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19. It was identified Monday through genomic sequencing, the Anchorage Health Department said, in an Anchorage resident who had recently tested positive after travelling internationally last month.

Hospitalizations due to the virus also continue to decline in Alaska. As of Monday, the state’s hospital data dashboard showed 63 people currently being hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. That does not include patients who are recovering from COVID-19 but are still in the hospital getting care.

Still, this represents a significant decrease from the more than 200 COVID-19 patients that were being reported in October while Alaska’s case surge was ongoing. The hospital dashboard shows just over 5% of all people hospitalized in Alaska are being hospitalized with COVID-19.

Alaska’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests also continues to decrease. State testing data on Monday showed that Alaska’s rolling average positivity rate for tests is 3.57% over the last week. Health experts have used the threshold of 5% to indicate when there is widespread transmission of the virus within a community. Alaska’s overall alert level based on its rate of new cases, however, still remains high.

The state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard shows that close to 60% of all eligible Alaska residents age 5 and older are now fully vaccinated against the virus, and that 66.8% have gotten at least an initial vaccine dose. Additionally, close to close to 128,000 people, or 18.8% of eligible Alaskans, have gotten a booster dose since Aug. 13, according to state data.

Of the 422 COVID-19 cases reported by the state Monday, 416 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 131
  • Greater Wasilla area: 49
  • Juneau: 23
  • Ketchikan: 21
  • Fairbanks: 20
  • Nome Census Area: 18
  • Bethel Census Area: 16
  • Greater Palmer area: 15
  • Homer: 14
  • Eagle River: 13
  • Sitka: 13
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 9
  • Hooper Bay: 7
  • Houston/Big Lake: 7
  • Kenai: 7
  • Chugiak: 6
  • Kodiak: 6
  • Willow: 4
  • Copper River Census Area: 3
  • Dillingham: 3
  • Nome: 3
  • North Pole: 3
  • North Slope Borough: 3
  • Sterling: 3
  • Girdwood: 2
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 2
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough: 2
  • Nikiski: 2
  • Petersburg: 2
  • Sutton-Alpine: 2
  • Bethel: 1
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 1
  • Metlakatla: 1
  • Seward: 1
  • Soldotna: 1
  • Tok: 1
  • Wrangell: 1

Of the six nonresident COVID-19 cases reported by the state on Monday, two are in Wasilla, two are in the North Slope Borough and there is one each in Anchorage and Juneau.

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