Alaska reported 649 coronavirus infections and no COVID-19-related deaths between Saturday and Tuesday, according to the Department of Health and Social Services.
The state no longer updates its coronavirus dashboard over the weekend or on state holidays. This week, it included the numbers from the long weekend in Tuesday’s report.
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 slight increase in its average daily case rate compared to recent weeks, health officials have said. 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 Tuesday, 243,546 people — including over 40% of Alaskans eligible for a shot — had received at least their first dose, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard. At least 165,848 people — about 28% of Alaskans 16 and older — were considered fully vaccinated.
By Tuesday, there were 33 people with COVID-19 in hospitals throughout the state, far below a peak in late 2020. Another patient had test results pending.
Of the 619 cases identified among Alaska residents Saturday through Tuesday, there were 240 in Anchorage, 145 in Wasilla, 57 in Fairbanks, 31 in Palmer, 17 in Eagle River, 13 in Valdez, 12 in North Pole, 10 in Chugiak, nine in Delta Junction, eight in Soldotna, seven in Juneau, six in Willow, four in Kodiak, four in Seward, four in Sitka, four in Talkeetna, three in Big Lake, three in Kenai, three in Ketchikan, three in Sterling, three in Utqiagvik, two in Healy, two in Houston and one each in Bethel, Nikiski, Nome and Sutton-Alpine.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 that aren’t named to protect residents’ privacy, there were 13 in the Bethel Census Area, three in the Copper River Census Area, two in the northern Kenai Peninsula Borough and one each in the Aleutians West Borough, the southern Kenai Peninsula Borough, the Nome Census Area, the North Slope Borough, the Northwest Arctic Borough, the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area and the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area.
There were also 30 nonresident cases: 10 in Anchorage, eight on the North Slope, two in Kodiak, one in Fairbanks, one in Valdez and eight in unidentified regions of the state.
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 average percentage of daily positive tests over the last week was 2.77%.
— Annie Berman
[Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the total number of new cases by not including Saturday’s case count.]
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