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Alaska no longer state with highest rate of COVID transmission

State reports 863 additional infections over two days as hospitalizations declined
State reports 863 additional infections over two days as hospitalizations declined.
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 12:50 PM AKST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2022 at 1:44 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state of Alaska reported 863 new COVID-19 cases over the last two days and is no longer the state in the U.S. with the highest rate of new cases, now ranking second to Maine for the first time in three weeks.

Alaska became the state with the highest level in the nation of cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days on Jan. 26, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that Maine’s case rate of 1,314.2 is higher than Alaska’s rate of 804.9. The U.S. territories of Guam and Northern Mariana Islands and Palau — a nation in free association with the U.S. — still rank higher than both Maine and Alaska.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 389 new resident cases of COVID-19 and six nonresident cases on Monday, and 461 resident cases and seven nonresident cases on Tuesday for a cumulative total of 863 new cases over the last two days. The figures represent a 50% drop in cases from the week of Feb. 2-Feb. 8 to this week.

The state did report 27 additional deaths on Wednesday among Alaska residents. There have now been a total of 1,108 resident deaths and 33 deaths among nonresidents. The state announced in January that they would only report data on COVID-19 deaths on Wednesdays, and only report case data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The 27 COVID-19-related deaths reported by the state on Wednesday were in Alaskans who ranged in age from 20 to over 80. There were 12 in Anchorage, four in Wasilla, two in Juneau, and one each in Bethel Census Area, Fairbanks, Houston/Big Lake, Kenai Peninsula South, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Kusilvak Census Area, North Pole and Palmer.

Hospitalizations reported by the state dropped under 100 for the first time since Jan. 12. The state reports that there are 90 COVID-19-related hospitalizations and just three people require the use of ventilators. There are 25 adult intensive care unit beds available statewide, but just one available in Anchorage.

Vaccination data from the state has largely remained unchanged since the last report on Monday. A total of 69.5% of eligible Alaskans, veterans and military members have received one dose of vaccine and 26.5% have received booster doses — both figures increased by 0.1% on Wednesday. The 62.1% of Alaskans, veterans and military members who have completed their primary series has not changed since Monday.

Of the 863 new COVID-19 cases reported over the last two days, 850 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 249
  • Fairbanks: 64
  • Greater Wasilla area: 55
  • Eagle River: 31
  • Soldotna: 30
  • Greater Palmer area: 29
  • North Slope Borough: 25 in 6 communities
  • Kenai: 23
  • Juneau: 21
  • North Pole: 21
  • Bethel Census Area: 17 in 7 communities
  • Homer: 17
  • Ketchikan: 16
  • Kodiak (16)
  • Metlakatla: 16
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 15 in 4 communities
  • Kotzebue: 14
  • Utqiaġvik: 14
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 13 in 7 communities
  • Delta Junction: 12
  • Nome Census Area: 12 in 9 communities
  • Haines: 11
  • Petersburg: 11
  • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 9 in 3 communities
  • Valdez: 9
  • Nome: 8
  • Seward: 8
  • Dillingham Census Area: 6 in 2 communities
  • Sitka: 6
  • Bethel: 5
  • Chugiak: 5
  • Cordova: 5
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 5 in 2 communities
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 5 in 4 communities
  • Anchor Point: 4
  • Chevak: 4
  • Houston/Big Lake area: 4
  • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area: 4 in 2 communities
  • Aleutians East Borough: 3
  • Craig: 3
  • Girdwood: 3
  • Mat-Su Borough: 3 in 2 Communities
  • Sterling: 3
  • Tok: 3
  • Willow: 3
  • Hoonah-Angoon and Yakutat combined: 2
  • Nikiski: 2
  • Sutton-Alpine: 2
  • Dutch Harbor: 1
  • Fritz Creek: 1
  • Healy: 1
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 1

Of the 13 additional nonresident COVID-19 cases reported by the state over the last two days, three were in Anchorage, two were in the North Slope Borough, and one each were reported in the Aleutians East Borough, the Copper River Census Area, Dutch Harbor, Healy, Juneau, and Wasilla with another two whose locations remain under investigation.

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that the last time COVID-19 hospitalizations were under 100 was Jan. 12, not Jan.14.

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