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Alaska shatters single-day COVID-19 record with 4,519 cases reported over last 2 days

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 1:49 PM AKST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:16 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state of Alaska reported more than 4,500 additional COVID-19 infections over the last two days, breaking the previous record for the highest number of cases reported in a single day as the rapid spread of the omicron variant continues.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 4,519 total new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. Of those, 138 of the cases are among nonresidents. There were 1,967 Alaska resident cases reported for Monday, and resident 2,414 cases for Tuesday. These both surpass the previous single-day case record of 1,784 reported last Wednesday.

This sharp increase in COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks has been attributed by state health experts to the rapidly spreading, highly transmissible omicron variant of the virus. Though state data shows just 20 confirmed cases of the omicron variant in Alaska so far, the state epidemiologist has said the true number is likely much higher.

Omicron is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the state. State data shows there’s been a 161% increase in cases over the last week compared to the week of Dec. 29 - Jan. 4, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that Alaska’s rate of new cases per capita over the last week is over 1,100. That’s still nowhere near the highest rate of new cases in the country, however.

While the number of people hospitalized with the virus in Alaska rose from hovering in the 50s last week to 80 on Monday, the hospital data dashboard shows that number has remained about level at 81 people as of Wednesday. The Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association has said Alaska facilities are preparing for the likelihood of impacts to services, due to the number of health care staff currently having to call out for being sick with COVID-19 or because of exposure.

The state also reported an additional five deaths of Alaska residents that are related to the virus, according to state data. According to the state health department, the people who died were all Anchorage residents — a woman in her 70s, a man in his 70s, two men in their 60s and a man in his 50s.

Since the pandemic began in Alaska, the state has recorded a total of 953 Alaska resident deaths and 32 nonresident deaths tied to COVID-19.

According to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard, 61% of all eligible Alaskans plus military members and veterans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 68% have gotten at least an initial vaccine dose, and more 23% of eligible Alaskans and military have gotten a booster dose of the vaccine.

Of the 4,519 COVID-19 cases the state reported on Wednesday, 4,381 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 2,100
  • Fairbanks: 465
  • Eagle River: 230
  • Greater Wasilla area: 212
  • Juneau: 172
  • Greater Palmer area: 98
  • Kodiak: 98
  • Ketchikan: 93
  • North Pole: 85
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 57
  • Chugiak: 56
  • Bethel Census Area: 53
  • Homer: 44
  • Hoonah-Angoon plus Yakutat: 43
  • Nome Census Area: 39
  • Bethel: 34
  • Kotzebue: 33
  • Kenai: 30
  • Soldotna: 29
  • Nome: 27
  • Utqiaġvik: 27
  • Metlakatla: 26
  • Unalaska: 26
  • Wrangell: 26
  • Cordova: 25
  • Girdwood: 18
  • Petersburg: 18
  • Seward: 16
  • Sitka: 14
  • Delta Junction: 13
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula: 12
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 12
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 11
  • Copper River Census Area: 10
  • North Slope Borough: 10
  • Dillingham: 8
  • Haines: 8
  • Valdez: 8
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 7
  • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area: 7
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 7
  • Dillingham Census Area: 6
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 6
  • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 6
  • Anchor Point: 5
  • Houston/Big Lake: 5
  • Kodiak Island Borough: 5
  • Aleutians East Borough: 4
  • Craig: 4
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 4
  • Hooper Bay: 4
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough: 3
  • Nikiski: 3
  • Skagway: 3
  • Sterling: 3
  • Tok: 3
  • Ester: 2
  • Healy: 2
  • Willow: 2
  • Chevak: 1
  • Denali Borough: 1
  • Fritz Creek: 1
  • Sutton-Alpine: 1

Of the 138 additional nonresident cases the state reported for the last two days, 50 of them are in Anchorage, while 23 are in Fairbanks and 13 are in the Aleutians East Borough.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

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