Alaska reported 16 new COVID-19 deaths and fewer than 500 cases on Tuesday

Alaska on Tuesday reported 16 recent deaths from COVID-19, a sign of the continuing effects of the record-level case numbers and hospitalizations the state was experiencing in September and early this month.

On Tuesday, the state also reported 475 new cases, including 464 among residents and 11 Among non-residents – part of the possible leveling In daily cases, health officials say they continue to monitor closely.

Ten of the newly reported deaths involved Anchorage residents: a man in his twenties, a woman in her thirties, a man in his forties, two men and a woman in his fifties, a man in his sixties, a man in his seventies and two his age. Men in their eighties. Other Alaskans who died included three Fairbanks men – one in his forties and two in their 60s – along with two Kenai men, one in his 50s and one in his 60s. A Cordova woman in her 60s has also died from the virus.

Alaska’s deadliest month for the pandemic so far was December 2020, when 100 deaths from COVID-19 were reported. But September and August 2021 represent the second and third deadliest months, with 76 and 75 deaths reported, respectively. It can sometimes take a few weeks to ascertain the cause of death, which means these numbers can be updated in the coming weeks.

However, Alaska’s overall per capita death rate is among the lowest in the country since the pandemic began, and Alaska is currently in the third bottom Among US states, the death rate per capita over the past week. At least 590 Alaskans and 22 non-residents have died of coronavirus infection.

While last week saw a 9% drop in cases compared to the week before in Alaska continue reporting The highest number of cases in the country per 100,000 residents in the previous seven days, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The statewide seven-day average test-positivity rate — the proportion of positive results out of total tests performed — was 10.78% as of Tuesday, the highest in the pandemic. Authorities say anything over 5% indicates high transmission and insufficient testing.

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In Anchorage, where city health officials announced last week They were curtailing COVID-19 testing efforts As a result of more people seeking tests and a lack of money to pay for those tests, the average positivity rate was 12%.

The number of people hospitalized has decreased slightly in recent days. By Tuesday, there were 186 patients with COVID-19 in hospitals across the state, including 26 people on ventilators. The state reported a few weeks ago Record of 217 hospitalizations – a number that does not always include people who are past their infection period and who still require hospital care.

Twenty health care facilities across the state Operating according to crisis care standards, although not all of them enact a crisis situation and any decisions to prioritize treatment are seamless and made on a daily basis.

And while hospitals are still dealing with large numbers of patients and strained resources, they have recently received some relief from under-48 health care workers. As a result of a government contract signed last month, nearly 500 health care workers have arrived in the state. — Including 275 nurses who received their emergency credentials in an accelerated schedule, according to the state’s Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.

Hospital leaders say vaccination is the best way to prevent severe illness and death from the virus. Nearly 40% of all eligible Alaskans have not been fully vaccinated. Approximately 64% of eligible Alaskans have received at least one dose of the vaccine As of Tuesday.

Among Alaskans who already contracted COVID-19, the chance of contracting it again in July and August was 24% higher for unvaccinated residents than for fully vaccinated residents, according to the most recent month. COVID-19 Update issued by the state’s Department of Public Health last week. The report also showed that vaccine breakthroughs were on the rise in August, due in part to a decline in immunity over time, although the proportion of vaccine breakthroughs overall has become more consistent since the delta variant became prevalent.

Pfizer booster shots are now available in Alaska, health officials say Those who qualify — Including adults who received their second Pfizer vaccine dose at least six months ago and are either 65 or older or at risk of severe disease — should consider getting the extra shot as a way to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Alaskans can visit Vaccines.gov To find a vaccine provider near them, or call the state’s coronavirus helpline, 907-646-3322, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends for local help identifying an appointment. Many, but not all, vaccine providers in the Anchorage area are also included in anchoragecovidvaccine.org.

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