Alaska reported 271 coronavirus infections and one death linked to COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday, according to data from the Department of Health and Social Services. The state no longer updates its coronavirus dashboard over the weekend, and instead includes those numbers in Monday’s report.
The individual who died was a Wasilla man in his 50s, health officials said.
Alaska’s average daily case counts have begun to decline again statewide. However, most regions in the state are still in the highest alert category based on their current per capita rate of infection, and 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 Monday, 308,957 people — about 50% of Alaskans eligible for a shot — had received at least their first dose. At 263,324 — about 43.8% of Alaskans 16 and older — were considered fully vaccinated, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard.
Alaska in January led the country in per capita vaccinations, but has now fallen to 23rd place among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of the 264 cases reported among Alaska residents over the last three days, there were 70 in Anchorage, six in Eagle River and two in Chugiak; 64 in Fairbanks; 29 in Wasilla; 21 in North Pole; 11 in Palmer; eight in Ketchikan; five in Kenai; four in Kodiak; two in Anchor Point; two in Big Lake; two in Delta Junction; two in Sutton-Alpine; two in Willow; and one case each in Homer, Houston, Kotzebue, Seward, Sitka, Yakutat, Soldotna, Sterling, Valdez and Wrangell.
Among communities smaller than 1,000 people that aren’t named to protect residents’ privacy, there were three in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough; three in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area; two in the Northwest Arctic Borough; and one case each in the Copper River Census Area, the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area and the Hoonah-Angoon Census Area.
There were also seven new cases among nonresidents: two in Anchorage; one in Fairbanks; one in Kodiak; one in the North Slope Borough; one in Prudhoe Bay; and one in a location under investigation.
By Monday, there were 66 people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in hospitals throughout 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.
Of all the tests conducted over the past week, 2.19% came back positive.
— Morgan Krakow