Alaska on Tuesday reported 85 coronavirus infections and no COVID-19-related deaths, according to data from the Department of Health and Social Services.
Although case counts and hospitalizations in Alaska remain below what they were during a peak in November and December, the state has been experiencing a slight increase in its average daily case rate over the last few weeks. 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 Tuesday, 259,419 people — about 42% of Alaskans eligible for a shot — had received at least their first dose, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard. At least 189,781 people — about 32% of Alaskans 16 and older — were considered fully vaccinated.
By Tuesday, there were 38 people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in hospitals throughout the state, far below a peak in late 2020 but a slight increase compared to recent weeks.
Of the 83 cases reported in Alaska residents on Tuesday, there were 24 in Anchorage plus two in Eagle River and one in Girdwood; four in Valdez; two in Kenai; one in Seward; one in Sterling; two in Fairbanks plus three in North Pole; three in Big Lake; one in Houston; five in Palmer; 20 in Wasilla; one in Douglas; and one in Juneau.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 people not named to protect privacy, there was one in the Copper River Census Area; one in the Mat-Su Borough; and 10 in the Bethel Census Area.
There were also two cases reported in nonresidents: one in Homer and one in Prudhoe Bay.
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