Alaska News

Alaska reports an increase in COVID-19 cases and rising hospitalizations

• The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on Wednesday reported 1,479 cases of COVID-19 in Alaska over a seven-day period. That averages around 211 cases per day. This data does not include at-home tests, which do not get reported to the state and have grown in popularity this year.

• By Wednesday, there were 32 COVID-positive patients hospitalized statewide, 12 more than last week. Less than 3% of Alaska’s hospital patients were COVID-positive, including one person on a ventilator.

• The state reported four more deaths linked to the virus. In total, 1,219 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.

• The regions with the highest case rates this week were the Northwest Arctic Borough, Nome, the Dillingham area, Sitka and Petersburg — all at more than 400 cases per 100,000 people, which is “quite a lot of COVID activity,” state officials said in a Wednesday briefing. That data represents reported cases and not at-home tests, but regional levels still provide a sense of larger case trends, officials say.

• Alaska’s seven-day new case rate per 100,000 people fell from fourth-highest in the nation last week to fifth highest this week, according to a CDC tracker.

• According to Alaska’s coronavirus variant dashboard, the vast majority — 91% — 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, 64.8% 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 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

• The state health department now updates all of its COVID-19 data on Wednesdays only instead of updating most dashboards three times a week.

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