Alaska on Monday reported 186 new COVID-19 infections, according to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Separately, the Arctic Slope Native Association reported the death of an Utqiagvik resident on Monday.
In total, 223 Alaskans — plus the Utqiagvik resident — and one nonresident with COVID-19 have died since the pandemic reached the state in March. Alaska’s death rate per capita is among the lowest in the country, though the state’s size and vulnerable health care system complicate national comparisons.
By Monday, 70 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and another seven people in the hospitals were suspected to have the virus. Hospitalizations generally are falling, especially since high numbers were reported in November and early December.
The state’s daily case counts have also fallen significantly during recent weeks though health officials continue to express concern about a spike following the holidays. The statewide alert level is still high.
Vaccines reached Alaska in mid-December. By Monday, 29,029 people had received their first dose of vaccine, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard. That’s an increase of nearly 4,000 people between Friday and Monday.
State officials on Monday said the state has allocated the vaccine received for December and January, but there are still appointments and large clinics occurring in the coming days and weeks.
For more information, the public can go to covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322 and leave a message. A recording says calls will be returned in the order they’re received within 48 hours, or the next business day.
Of the 183 new cases reported Monday among Alaska residents, there were 62 in Anchorage plus one in Chugiak and two in Eagle River; three in Kenai, two in Soldotna and one in Sterling; three in Kodiak; 27 in Fairbanks and three in North Pole; one in Big Lake, six in Palmer and 11 in Wasilla; two in Nome; two in Utqiagvik; two in Juneau; two in Sitka; two in Unalaska; 13 in Bethel; and one in a location still being determined.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 people not named to protect privacy, there were nine in the Bethel Census Area; one on the northern Kenai Peninsula; two in the Kodiak Island Borough; one in the Copper River Census Area; one in the Denali Borough; two in the Fairbanks North Star Borough; one in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area; nine in the North Slope Borough; eight in the Northwest Arctic Borough; one in the Aleutians West Census Area; and two in the Kusilvak Census Area.
Three cases were reported Monday among nonresidents, including one in Anchorage, one in Fairbanks and one in a location that was still being determined.
While people might get tested more than once, each case reported by the state health department represents only one person.
The state’s data doesn’t specify whether people testing positive for COVID-19 have symptoms. More than half of the nation’s infections are transmitted from asymptomatic people, according to CDC estimates.
The statewide test positivity rate as of Monday was 4.55% over a seven-day average. Health officials say anything above 5% can indicate inadequate testing and widespread community transmission. The state peaked at over 9% positivity in November.
— Zaz Hollander
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