Alaska on Tuesday reported 152 new cases of COVID-19 as part of a continued trend of declining daily case counts.
COVID-19 hospitalizations also continued to decrease. By Tuesday, there were 102 patients who had active cases of the virus hospitalized statewide — well below a high of over 200 recorded earlier this fall. About 11% of all hospital patients in the state currently have COVID-19. Those numbers don’t include some people who are recovering from the disease and need continued care, often for several weeks after they are admitted.
The decreases follow a period in which cases and hospitalizations peaked and then continued at high levels in September and October.
Even as they decline in Alaska, coronavirus and hospitalizations cases have been rising nationwide — particularly in colder states where increased time indoors has meant more transmission.
Through most of September and October, Alaska had the highest case rate per capita in the country. By Tuesday, Alaska ranked tenth among states for its COVID-19 case rate, with 348.6 cases per 100,000 people — behind Michigan, New Hampshire, Minnesota, New Mexico, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado, Arizona and Maine.
Health officials have called vaccination the best tool Alaskans have to prevent future surges. About 61% of Alaskans 5 and up have received one dose of the shot, while 55% are considered fully vaccinated. Alaska currently ranks in the bottom third — 33rd among all states — for its per capita vaccination rate.
The state on Tuesday also reported the virus-related deaths a woman from Anchorage in her 70s and a man from Anchorage in his 60s. Fairbanks Memorial Hospital separately reported the death of a COVID-19 patient who was 52 years old, according to a release from the hospital on Tuesday morning. In total, 834 COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents and 30 among nonresidents living in Alaska have been reported by the state.
Measured over the course of the pandemic, Alaska’s per capita death rate is the 5th lowest in the nation, behind Utah, Maine, Hawaii and Vermont, according to data from the CDC.