Alaska on Wednesday reported 163 coronavirus infections in residents and no COVID-19-related deaths, according to data from the Department of Health and Social Services.
Information about nonresident cases or deaths was not immediately available.
Overall, case counts and hospitalizations in Alaska remain below what they were during a peak in November and December. However, Alaska is now experiencing a gradual increase in its average daily case rate. Many regions in the state are still in the highest alert category based on their current per capita rate of infection.
Alaska’s death rate per capita is still among the lowest in the country, but the state’s size and vulnerable health care system complicate national comparisons. In total, 309 Alaskans and four nonresidents with COVID-19 have died since the pandemic reached the state last spring.
Alaska this month became the first state in the country to open vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older who lives or works in the state. You can visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322 to sign up for a vaccine appointment; new appointments are added regularly. The phone line is staffed 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends.
By Wednesday, 249,257 people — including over 41% of Alaskans eligible for a shot — had received at least their first dose, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard. At least 172,046 people — about 29% of Alaskans 16 and older — were considered fully vaccinated.
By Wednesday, there were 35 people with COVID-19 in hospitals throughout the state, far below a peak in late 2020.
Of the 163 cases identified among Alaska residents Wednesday, there were 56 in Anchorage, plus three in Chugiak and eight in Eagle River; 30 in Wasilla; 21 in Fairbanks; nine in Palmer; three in Valdez; three in Kenai; one in Nikiski; one in Seward; two in Soldotna; one in Kodiak; three in North Pole; two in Delta Junction; two in Big Lake; one in Willow; four in Juneau; three in Ketchikan; five in Petersburg; one in Metlakatla; and one in Sitka.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 that aren’t named to protect residents’ privacy, there was one in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough; and two in Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula area.
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.
— Annie Berman