Thursday, February 25

Tracking COVID-19 in Alaska: 126 new infections reported Monday, no deaths – Anchorage Daily News

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It’s the lowest daily case count since Oct. 7, when 123 were reported. Coronavirus-related hospitalizations are also declining.

The cases reported Monday fall in line with a trend of lower case numbers reported in recent weeks after a surge through November into early December. Half of Alaska’s virus deaths were reported in the last six weeks. Health officials say a monthlong hunker-down order in Anchorage played a role in the decline, as did voluntary actions taken by people around the state.

There were no virus-related deaths reported on the state dashboard Monday. In total, 199 Alaskans and one nonresident with COVID-19 have died since the pandemic began here in March. Alaska’s overall death rate per capita is among the lowest in the country, but officials say the state’s vast geography and vulnerable health care system make it difficult to compare with other states.

Alaska received its first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December. Hospital health care workers, emergency personnel and residents and staff at long-term-care facilities were prioritized to receive the first doses.

By Monday morning, 12,202 Alaskans had received vaccinations, according to the state’s vaccine information site, which lags slightly behind real time. The state’s vaccine allocation committee is taking public comment Monday.

By Monday, 70 Alaskans with COVID-19 were hospitalized and another six were suspected to have the virus. Nearly 9.5% of adults in Alaska hospitals have COVID-19.

Hospitalizations have decreased statewide within the last few weeks. In Anchorage, where the sickest patients are often treated, on Monday there were 24 intensive care unit beds available out of 74.

Of the 124 infections reported Monday in Alaska residents, there were 62 in Anchorage, plus three in Chugiak and four in Eagle River; one in Kenai, one in Nikiski, and one in Soldotna; two in Kodiak; five in Fairbanks and two in North Pole; 13 in Palmer and 19 in Wasilla; one in Nome; three in Utqiagvik; one in Kotzebue; one in Juneau; one in Bethel; and one in an unidentified community.

Among communities smaller than 1,000 people not named to protect privacy, there was one case in the Copper River area; one in Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area; and one in the Bethel Census Area.

There were two cases reported in nonresidents in Anchorage.

While people might get tested more than once, each case reported by the state health department represents only one person.

It is not clear how many of the people who tested positive for the virus were showing symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about a third of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic.

The statewide test positivity rate as of Monday was 4.44% over a 7-day average. Health experts say anything above 5% can indicate inadequate testing and potentially widespread community transmission. The state reached a peak of over 9% test positivity in mid-November.

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