Alaska News

Alaska reports 3 COVID-19 deaths, 655 cases and 159 hospitalizations Thursday

Alaska on Thursday reported three virus-related deaths and 655 new COVID-19 cases as part of a recent downward trend in virus cases statewide.

Thursday’s newly reported deaths involved two people from Anchorage, a man in his 40s and a woman in her 30s, along with a nonresident in her 60s who was diagnosed in Anchorage. In total, Alaska’s tally of COVID-19 deaths includes 713 residents and 27 nonresidents.

By Thursday, there were 159 people with COVID-19 hospitalized around the state — a significant drop from last week, when a record 236 hospitalizations were reported. Of current patients, 23 required mechanical ventilation, and roughly 15% of all hospital patients were COVID-positive.

COVID-19 cases in Alaska

Despite the downward case trend, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Thursday continued to show Alaska with the highest case rate in the nation. Over the past seven days, Alaska had 570.9 cases per 100,000 people, nearly four times the national rate.

The portion of COVID-19 tests returning positive results was 7.98% Thursday, based on a seven-day rolling average.

A new report from the state health department released Thursday provided new data on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Alaska through September.

That data showed that Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders were hospitalized with the virus at a rate far higher than other groups — about eight times the rate of white Alaskans. Alaska Native people were hospitalized at about twice the rate of white Alaskans, the data showed.

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The report also tracked vaccine breakthrough cases compared to cases among people who were not fully vaccinated. Vaccine breakthrough cases represented roughly a third of all virus cases reported by the state in September, and just 18% of all virus-related hospitalizations that month.

In September, unvaccinated Alaskans were about 14 times more likely to be hospitalized with the virus than vaccinated Alaskans, the report said.

This week, vaccine providers around Alaska began offering child-sized doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to kids ages 5 to 11, following federal and state guidance.

[Relief, excitement and some anxiety as newly eligible Alaska children receive COVID-19 vaccine]

Even though children are at a much lower risk than adults of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19, there’s still a risk — provisional data from the CDC last updated Wednesday reported a national total of 680 COVID-19 deaths among children and teens ages 18 and younger over the course of the pandemic so far.

Parents seeking children’s vaccine options at Anchorage-area providers can look for those designations at anchoragecovidvaccine.org, which lists many, but not all, vaccine providers available.

Sixty-five percent of Alaskans 12 and older have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The state’s vaccine dashboard will change next week to reflect the recent change in eligibility to all Alaskans 5 and older.

COVID-19 cases in Alaska
COVID-19 cases in Alaska
COVID-19 cases in Alaska
COVID-19 cases in Alaska
COVID-19 cases in Alaska
COVID-19 cases in Alaska

Annie Berman

Annie Berman covers health care for the Anchorage Daily News. She's a fellow with Report for America, and is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. A veteran of AmeriCorps and Vista volunteer programs, she's previously reported for Mission Local and KQED in the Bay Area.

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