Alaska’s average daily case counts are trending down statewide. However, a surge of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the Fairbanks region is straining hospital capacity there, and one COVID-positive patient in their 20s recently died, officials said this week.
Additionally, many regions in the state are still in the highest alert category based on their current per capita rate of infection, and health officials continue to encourage Alaskans to wear face coverings in public, avoid large gatherings, wash their hands frequently and get vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent further spread.
By Thursday, there were 54 people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in hospitals throughout the state, far below a peak in late 2020 but up compared to recent weeks.
Also by Thursday, 336,534 people — about 55% of all Alaskans eligible for a shot — had received at least their first dose. At least 287,041 people — about 48% of Alaskans 16 and older — were considered fully vaccinated, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard.
Alaska in January led the country in per capita vaccinations, but has now fallen to 23rd place among all 50 states and Washington, D.C., according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You can visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322 to sign up for a vaccine appointment; new appointments are added regularly. The phone line is staffed 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends.
Of the 92 cases reported among Alaska residents on Thursday, there were 30 in Anchorage, plus one in Chugiak and two in Eagle River; one in Kenai; one in Nikiski; two in Soldotna; 13 in Fairbanks plus seven in North Pole; two in Delta Junction; one in Big Lake; one in Houston; 13 in Wasilla; two in Juneau; nine in Ketchikan; two in Petersburg; and two in Craig.
In communities with fewer than 1,000 people not named to protect privacy, there were two in the Fairbanks North Star Borough; and one in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.
While people might get tested more than once, each case reported by the state health department represents only one person.
The state’s data doesn’t specify whether people testing positive for COVID-19 have symptoms. More than half of the nation’s infections are transmitted from asymptomatic people, according to CDC estimates.