Coverage of COVID-19.
The worsening coronavirus situation around the state has pushed some understaffed hospitals into crisis and shattered past daily case records.
The treatments have gained notice recently as they’ve been pushed by local health officials for their benefits, but some providers reported hearing from people who were seeking the treatment instead of the vaccine — which isn’t recommended.
Health officials say the treatment is highly effective at keeping people out of the hospital, but is still no substitute for the vaccine.
The mayor and members of his administration attended an hours-long, invitation-only meeting in the Assembly chambers last Saturday to listen to health care workers opposed to vaccine requirements.
Alaska also reported a record 217 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Friday.
A CDC panel on Thursday voted against saying that people in health care or other high-risk jobs should get a booster, but Director Rochelle Walensky disagreed and put that recommendation back in.
But the advisory panel declines to recommend extra shots for people whose jobs may put them at higher risk of infection.
Shanette Harper and her brother texted through what seemed like a manageable case of COVID-19. Until the day he collapsed.
The state on Thursday reported seven new COVID deaths, a daily record 1,330 infections and continuing near-record hospitalizations.
Many experts think health officials should emphasize wearing surgical masks against COVID, but some say cloth masks can offer enough protection in certain circumstances.
The new workers will begin arriving in Alaska starting next week. Hospitals inundated with COVID-19 patients who require staff-intensive care are grappling with a severe staffing shortage.
The stress of teaching in a pandemic has triggered a spike in retirements and resignations. Several schools nationwide have had to shut classrooms because of a lack of teachers.
Advisers to the CDC opened a two-day meeting Wednesday to make their own, more specific recommendations about who should get the extra shots and when.
Many of the communities that avoided the first and second waves of the virus are now seeing spikes in cases and major obstacles to curbing virus spread.
The governor also announced the state is bringing up hundreds of health care workers from the Lower 48 to offset staff shortages.
Alaska continues to have the highest COVID-19 case rate per capita in the U.S. “Our case counts are rising. This is concerning, and should be concerning to all of us,” Gov. Dunleavy said.
Some places have adopted statewide crisis standards of care, in which health systems can prioritize patients for scarce resources - based largely on their likelihood of survival - and even deny treatment.
Alaska’s average rate of daily new infections over the last week is more than double the national average, and hospitals continue to operate under what were once unimaginable circumstances.
A triage team using a specific formula to prioritize patients most likely to recover has been asked to help with several patient care decisions at the Anchorage hospital.
Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has said he will not impose COVID-19 mandates and called the ordinance “heavy-handed.” The Assembly would need to muster a supermajority of eight votes to override his veto.
For elementary school-aged kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose — a third of the amount that’s in each shot given now.
We also spoke with local doctors who specialize in women’s reproductive health to discuss vaccine considerations for their patients who are pregnant or considering getting pregnant.
Public confusion about which deaths are officially attributed to COVID-19 has lingered.
Providence Alaska Medical Center is prioritizing care under crisis-care guidelines amid surging COVID-19 cases and short staffing, Other hospitals report equally gut-wrenching scenarios.
“Unfortunately, the lack of mitigation measures off-base has resulted in alarmingly high infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths in our community,” wrote a senior military commander.