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Alaska reports more than 1,400 COVID cases over past 2 days due to processing lag in Yukon-Kuskokwim region

State reports 10 additional COVID-19 deaths
Alaska reports more than 1,400 COVID cases over past 2 days due to processing lag in Yukon-Kuskokwim region
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 1:10 PM AKST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2022 at 2:24 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state of Alaska reported more than 1,400 new COVID-19 cases over the past two days as cases trended up for the first time since late January, due to delayed data processing in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 1,435 new cases — 176 on Monday and 1,259 on Tuesday. Of those, 12 were nonresident cases. The state remains in the “high” alert status for case rates, according to the state.

Tuesday’s count was the largest single-day tally for Alaska since 1,383 were reported Feb. 8 of this year.

The majority of the new cases reported Wednesday are from the Bethel Census Area. The state health department explained in an email that a major testing location in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region had “experienced some reporting issues” over the past month. These issues were resolved on Tuesday, the state said, which led to “bulk processing” of older cases from that area.

These cases from the Bethel Census Area are currently reflected on the state’s dashboard as “recent,” but a team is working on moving those cases back to when they actually occurred.

This case count spike is not reflective of a surge or current case activity, but is an anomaly from lagged reports and data processing,” the state wrote.

Cases for the previous seven days are up 18% when compared to Feb. 23-March 1.

Alaska sits fourth in the nationwide ranking for the rate of new COVID-19 cases per capita, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state has a seven-day case rate of 239.1 cases per 100,000 people, only behind Kentucky, Montana and Idaho. This is down from a seven-day case rate of 285 on Monday.

There have been 1,168 deaths attributed to COVID-19 among Alaska residents, with 10 more added from last week’s report of 1,158 resident deaths. The state only reports new deaths on Wednesdays.

According to the state health department, the 10 Alaskans who died were: an Anchorage woman 80 or older, a Fairbanks woman 80 or older, a Fairbanks man in his 70s, a Fairbanks woman in her 40s, a Fairbanks man in his 40s, a woman from the Kusilvak Census Area in her 70s, a woman from the Northwest Arctic Borough in her 70s, a Palmer man 80 or older, a man from the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area in his 50s and a Wasilla man in his 50s.

There are currently 51 people in Alaska hospitalized with COVID-19, which is down from 53 in Monday’s report. Among all people hospitalized, 4.1% of people are hospitalized with COVID-19. Three people hospitalized currently require ventilators.

Across the state, there are 27 adult intensive care unit beds available, with six available in Anchorage.

Vaccine rates remain stagnant, with 71.1% of residents, military members and veterans having received at least one vaccination dose and 64% completing their primary immunization series, and 26.9% of Alaska residents have gotten a booster shot.

Of the 1,435 cases reported over the last two days, 1,423 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Bethel Census Area: 598
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 158
  • Anchorage: 136
  • Bethel: 124
  • Hooper Bay: 45
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 45
  • Fairbanks: 32
  • Juneau: 29
  • Ketchikan: 27
  • Greater Wasilla area: 25
  • Nome: 23
  • Nome Census Area: 18
  • Chevak: 17
  • Eagle River: 16
  • Hoonah-Angoon plus Yakutat: 16
  • Valdez: 15
  • Kodiak: 13
  • Kotzebue: 11
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 11
  • Greater Palmer area: 10
  • Soldotna: 9
  • Kenai: 7
  • North Pole: 5
  • Chugiak: 4
  • Healy: 4
  • Sitka: 4
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula: 3
  • Homer: 3
  • Copper River Census Area: 2
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 2
  • Sterling: 2
  • Delta Junction: 1
  • Girdwood: 1
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 1
  • Metlakatla: 1
  • North Slope Borough: 1
  • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 1
  • Seward: 1
  • Utqiaġvik: 1
  • Willow: 1

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

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