Alaska reports 3 deaths, close to 1,000 COVID-19 cases Friday

COVID-19 hospitalizations remain over 200
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 10:00 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state reported more than 900 additional COVID-19 infections on Friday, as well as two more COVID-related deaths of Alaska residents and one nonresident death.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 984 new COVID-19 cases, 13 of which are among nonresidents. All three deaths were recent, according to the state health department.

The two Alaska residents who died were a Nome man in his 60s and an Anchorage woman in her 40s. The nonresident was a man in his 40s who was diagnosed in Utqiagvik. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, Alaska has reported a total of 594 residents and 23 nonresidents whose deaths have been related to COVID-19.

COVID-19 hospitalizations remain in the low 200s after climbing from the 180s earlier this week. The state’s hospital data dashboard shows that as of Thursday, there were 202 people being hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide. Of those, 22 people are sick enough that they are on ventilators.

The dashboard also shows that as of Thursday there were six adult ICU beds left open in Anchorage and 21 still available statewide. The state has enacted crisis standards of care guidelines for 20 Alaska hospitals and health care facilities as they struggle with limited resources and staff. Some facilities are actually rationing care, while others have said resources are not so stretched as to require that yet.

While the beginning of October saw a slight decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases, suggesting the state’s current surge could be relenting, state data shows there was a 14% increase in cases the week of Oct. 8-14 compared to the week before.

Alaska still has the highest rate of new cases per capita in the nation over the last seven days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state is also still seeing a high rate of positive COVID-19 test results. Testing data shows Alaska has an average positivity rate of 10.68% over the last seven days. Health experts say the threshold of 5% indicates widespread virus transmission.

According to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard, just over 59% of all eligible Alaskans age 12 and older are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and more then 64% are at least partially vaccinated.

Of the 984 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday, 971 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 350
  • Wasilla: 98
  • Fairbanks: 87
  • Eagle River: 53
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 42
  • Palmer: 42
  • Bethel Census Area: 31
  • North Pole: 28
  • Juneau: 27
  • Soldotna: 18
  • Kenai: 17
  • Chugiak: 16
  • Homer: 12
  • Ketchikan: 11
  • Nome Census Area: 11
  • Kotzebue: 9
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 8
  • Utqiagvik: 8
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 7
  • Kodiak: 7
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 7
  • Nome: 7
  • Valdez: 7
  • Dillingham Census Area: 6
  • Salcha: 6
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula: 5
  • Tok: 5
  • Copper River Census Area: 4
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 4
  • Bethel: 3
  • Big Lake: 3
  • Dillingham: 3
  • Willow: 3
  • Anchor Point: 2
  • Chugach Census Area: 2
  • Delta Junction: 2
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough: 2
  • Nikiski: 2
  • North Slope Borough: 2
  • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 2
  • Sitka: 2
  • Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon: 2
  • Yukok-Koyukuk Census Area: 2
  • Denali Borough: 1
  • Girdwood: 1
  • Kodiak Island Borough: 1
  • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area: 1
  • Sterling: 1
  • Unknown location: 1

The state also reported 13 additional nonresident COVID-19 cases throughout Alaska on Friday, three of which are in Anchorage.

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