Tracking COVID-19 in Alaska: 3 deaths and 359 new cases reported on Wednesday

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The state’s health department said the deaths included three anchorage residents: a woman in her 70s, a male in her 60s and a man in her 80s.

Since the epidemic began in March, a total of 196 Alaska and one nonsident with COVID-19 has died. Alaska’s per capita death rate is one of the lowest in the country, but officials say the state’s vast geography and weak health care system are difficult to compare with other states.

About 60% of Alaskans who have died with coronovirus were anchorage residents.

State officials have said that after excessive cases were reported in Alaska through November and infection and hospitalization in the early part of December, state officials said.

However, the number of daily infections remains higher than reported through the spring, summer and early fall, and hospital capacity and staffing issues remain a concern, health officials say.

“We do not want to reduce the matter so that people feel a false sense of security,” state Department of Health epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin said during a public call on Wednesday. “We are still seeing lots and lots of cases every day.”

While health officials are part of a decline in cases of Anchorage’s December “hunker down” order, the state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink said during a single call that people from outside the state’s largest city also helped.

“I think it’s important to understand that when we are looking at these statewide trends a part of what has happened in Anchorage, but we have seen many other communities – as well as many Alaskans – without emergency orders. – Choose to minimize your conversation, wear more masks, and talk differently, “she said.” It takes all of us. “

Officials said that in recent times, they have seen a decline in coronavirus in statewide testing.

Jayme Parker, who helps run the state’s public health laboratories, said she’s not sure if she struggles with COVID-19 fatigue – “You know, people are just tired of all the tests” – Or if it could be something else.

“It is difficult for me to say that not all providers are paying attention to whether all providers are reducing the number of samples that we are receiving in the laboratory,” she said.

The Department of Health continues to encourage Alaskans to be tested if they have any coronavirus symptoms.

As of Wednesday, there were 106 people with COVID-19 in hospitals in Alaska, with 15 on ventilators, and another five in hospital with suspected cases. Statewide, 56 intensive care unit beds were available until Wednesday.

As of Wednesday morning, the state’s vaccine webpage showed that 8,918 people had been vaccinated in the state so far. That tracker shows the number of vaccines administered slightly behind real-time.

Health officials continue to recommend basic disease prevention practices, including wearing masks, social disturbances and hand washing.

Of the 355 cases recorded Wednesday among Alaska residents, there were anchorage plus 33 in Eagle River, 118 in Chugiak and two in Girdwood; 40 in Palmer; 33 in Fairbanks; 25 in Vasila; 20 in Kodiak; 14 at Bethel; Nine in the North Pole; Eight in Tok; Seven in Soltana; Seven in Utakiyagwick; Four in Sitka; In three Unalaska; Two in homer; Two in Kenai; Two at the delta junction; One in Seward; One in Stirling; One in Cordova; One in Valdez; One in Big Lake; One in Juneau; One in Ketchikan; And one in Craig.

There were four resident cases in the Bethal census area, among fewer than 1,000 people who were not named to protect privacy; Three in the northern Kenai Peninsula Borough; Two in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area; Two in the Northwest Arctic Borough; Two in Dillingham Census Area; One in the Valdez-Cordova census tract; One of the northern slope boroughs; One in the Aleutian West census tract; And one in the Cusilak census region.

There were also four cases among non-residents in Alaska, two in Juneau, one in Unnasca and one in an unknown area in the state.

While people may undergo an investigation more than once, each case reported by the state health department represents only one person.

It is unclear how many of those who tested positive for the virus were showing symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about a third of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic.

The statewide test positivity rate was 4.91% above the seven-day average as of Wednesday. Health experts say that anything over 5% may indicate inadequate testing and possible widespread community transmission. The state reached a peak of over 9% test positivity in mid-November.

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