Alaska on Thursday reported 232 coronavirus infections and no COVID-19-related deaths, according to data from the Department of Health and Social Services.
Overall, case counts and hospitalizations in Alaska remain below what they were during a peak in November and December. However, Alaska is now experiencing an 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 in March 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 Thursday, 249,651 people — about 41% of Alaskans eligible for a shot — had received at least their first dose, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard. At least 172,468 people — about 29% of Alaskans 16 and older — were considered fully vaccinated.
By Thursday, there were 34 people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in hospitals throughout the state, far below a peak in late 2020.
Of the 231 cases identified among Alaska residents Thursday, there were 94 in Anchorage plus seven in Chugiak and nine in Eagle River; 34 in Wasilla; 21 in Palmer; 10 in Fairbanks; seven in Seward; five in North Pole; four in Delta Junction; two in Big Lake; two in Willow; two in Nome; two in Valdez; two in Kenai; two in Soldotna; one in Anchor Point; one in Kodiak; one in Healy; one in Kotzebue; one in Juneau; one in Petersburg; one in Unalaska; and one in Chevak.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 that aren’t named to protect residents’ privacy, there were 15 in the Bethel Census Area; two in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area; one in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area; one in the Mat-Su Borough; and one in the Kusilvak Census Area.
There was also one nonresident case reported in an unidentified region 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.
Out of all the tests completed over the last week, 3.08% came back positive.
— Annie Berman