The number of COVID-positive patients hospitalized in Alaska increased by 53% over a 7-day period, though there have been no new deaths linked to the virus reported since May, according to state health data released Wednesday. New reported cases continued to rise among residents and visitors to the state.
By Wednesday, there were 87 COVID-positive patients hospitalized around Alaska, a significant increase from the 57 reported by the state a week earlier. Just over 7% of Alaska’s hospital patients were COVID-positive, and no one required a ventilator, according to the latest data available from the state Department of Health and Social Services.
Despite the increase, Alaska’s hospitals are not being overwhelmed or experiencing severe strain like they did at other points in the pandemic, said Jared Kosin, president of the state’s hospital association.
“I’m not hearing too much from the field right now,” he said, noting that recent omicron strains are less virulent and generally causing less severe illness than earlier strains.
“The biggest pressure point on our members right now are workforce shortages,” he said Wednesday.
[First 2 years of pandemic saw nearly 2,000 unexpected deaths in Alaska, many linked to COVID-19]
The state reported 3,660 cases in Alaska over a seven-day period, an increase from the 3,016 cases reported last week. This week’s total includes 2,633 cases among residents and 1,027 among nonresidents. That data doesn’t include at-home tests.
Alaska’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is ninth highest in the nation as of this week, according to a CDC tracker. Nationally, cases are increasing slightly.
The state reported no new deaths linked to the virus. In total, 1,252 COVID-19 deaths among residents and 34 among nonresidents have been reported since March 2020.
Across the state, 64.6% of Alaskans 5 and up as well as military personnel had completed their primary vaccine series. About 29.8% were considered up to date on their vaccinations with at least one booster.
Children and babies as young as 6 months are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. Most vaccine appointments for this younger age group will need to made with primary care providers and pediatricians. For a list of providers nearby, visit vaccines.gov.
[Children under 5 are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, but finding a provider in Alaska may be tricky. Here’s what to know.]