Alaska on Thursday reported 216 coronavirus infections and no new deaths linked to COVID-19, 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, most regions in the state are still in the highest alert category based on their current per capita rate of infection.
Health officials continue to encourage Alaskans to wear face coverings in public, avoid large gatherings, wash their hands frequently and get vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent further spread.
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, 300,995 people — about 49% of Alaskans eligible for a shot — had received at least their first dose. At least 249,900 people — about 42% of Alaskans 16 and older — were considered fully vaccinated, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard.
By Tuesday, there were 49 people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in hospitals throughout the state, far below a peak in late 2020.
Of the 212 cases reported among Alaska residents on Thursday, there were 39 in Anchorage plus four in Chugiak and three in Eagle River; five in Kenai; one in Seward; five in Soldotna; 70 in Fairbanks plus 34 in North Pole; two in Delta Junction; eight in Palmer; 14 in Wasilla; two in Willow; one in Nome; four in Juneau; one in Ketchikan; one in Sitka; and one in Bethel.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 people that aren’t named to protect residents’ privacy, there were two in the Copper River Census Area; one in the northern Kenai Peninsula Borough; one in the southern Kenai Peninsula Borough; two in the Fairbanks North Star Borough; two in the Northwest Arctic Borough; two in the Prince of Wales Hyder Census Area; five in the Bethel Census Area; and two in the Kusilvak Census Area.
There were also four new cases among nonresidents: one in Kenai, and three in Fairbanks.
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