• The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on Wednesday reported 1,526 cases of COVID-19 in Alaska over the prior seven days. That’s a slight increase from last week, and averages around 218 cases per day. This data does not include at-home tests.
• The state reported 13 more deaths linked to the virus. In total, 1,215 COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents and 33 among nonresidents have been reported since March 2020. Many of the deaths reported by the state in recent weeks occurred weeks to months earlier.
• Alaska’s seven-day new case rate per 100,000 people rose from sixth-highest in the nation last week to fourth-highest this week, according to a CDC tracker.
• By Wednesday, there were 20 COVID-positive patients hospitalized statewide, six fewer than last week. Less than 2% of Alaska’s hospital patients were COVID-positive, including five people on ventilators.
• According to Alaska’s coronavirus variant dashboard, the vast majority — 82.5% — of the most recently sequenced viruses from specimens collected late in March were the BA.2 “stealth” omicron subvariant. BA.2 appears to be more transmissible than other variants but not more virulent or better at evading immune responses conferred by vaccination or prior infection.
• As of Wednesday, 64.7% of eligible Alaskans as well as military personnel had completed their primary vaccine series. That number has been very slowly ticking up in recent weeks.
• The FDA recently approved another Pfizer or Moderna booster shot for those 50 and older, as well as for certain younger individuals with severely compromised immune systems, if it’s been at least four months since their last vaccination. Information about getting a vaccine shot or booster in Alaska is available at covidvax.alaska.gov.
[Boost now? Boost later? Tricky calculation for a fourth coronavirus shot.]
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The state health department has recently shifted to updating all of its COVID-19 data on Wednesdays only instead of updating most dashboards three times a week.