The state of Alaska has secured more than 470 health care workers to temporarily help relieve stress on hospitals. The request was made through a federal agency and the personnel are set to start arriving next week.
A Wasilla man recently waited 10 days to be able to have necessary open heart surgery — an example of the shifting care standards in Alaska's hospitals as they struggle under the weight of the state's COVID-19 surge.
Alaska's largest hospital says crisis standards of care — deciding which patients get treatment in times of short resources — could last at least another couple weeks, depending on when the surge of COVID-19 cases in Alaska slows.
Worried about losing their jobs, dozens of medical and other professionals gathered at a listening session Saturday at Anchorage Assembly Chambers, saying they're being discriminated against. Hospitals say staff shortages are not due to their vaccine policies.
Anchorage hospitals are reaching the brink of capacity as roughly 20% of those hospitalized have COVID-19. The city's health care workers are sounding the alarm as crisis care standards are being put into place, and some unvaccinated COVID-19 patients say they realize now that it's about protecting those around them from being sick.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Tuesday used the strongest language so far to refer to Alaska's current surge in COVID-19 cases, urging residents to get vaccinated as COVID-19 hospitalizations remain high and putting stress on hospitals.
The Anchorage School District is revising its COVID-19 protocols, saying those who are considered close contacts to someone who tests positive for the virus that are not experiencing symptoms will no longer need to quarantine.
During the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board Regular meeting on September 7th, the board voted to pass a motion that would reenable a mandatory mask mandate for children, staff and visitors within schools throughout the district.
All new hires at Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air must be vaccinated, the company said. Unvaccinated employees will no longer have access to special COVID-19 pay if they miss work due to infection or exposure.
Parents, students and community members testified on both sides of the mask wearing debate at Wednesday's meeting of the Mat-Su School Board. Masks there are largely recommended, but can be required when schools move into medium risk.
Alaska healthcare professionals are encouraging high-risk individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to seek treatment with monoclonal antibodies early on in their infection, but the Emergency Use Authorized drug is not a replacement for the vaccine, they say, because of its narrow window of efficacy and the level of care required to administer it.