Alaska reports 6 deaths on Wednesday as hospitalization rate for COVID-19 falls below 100

Through Zaz Hollander

Updated: 20 minutes ago Published: 20 minutes ago

Alaska on Wednesday reported six resident deaths linked to COVID-19 and 476 new cases as the number of people hospitalized with the virus continued to fall.

It was not immediately clear whether the deaths were recent. Separately, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital reported the death of a 67-year-old COVID-19 patient on Wednesday.

The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continues to fall. On Wednesday, the state reported 94 patients with active cases of the virus who had been hospitalized statewide as of Tuesday — the first time in weeks the number has fallen below 100 and well below a record of more than 230 earlier this fall. .

About 10% of all hospitalized patients in the state are COVID positive. Those numbers don’t include some people who are recovering from the disease and need ongoing care, sometimes for weeks.

The decline follows a period when the number of cases and hospitalizations peaked and then continued at high levels in September and October.

[Older Alaskans outpace nation in COVID-19 booster doses, health officials say]

The state’s test positivity rate — the number of positive tests out of the total taken — is also falling, to 5.45% as of Wednesday, or slightly more than the 5% level generally indicating sufficient testing is taking place.

This week, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport announced that, beginning December 1, COVID-19 testing will only be available to ticketed passengers and badged employees.

“This change will reduce the potential risk of asymptomatic spread to travelers and the workers who support our critical transportation infrastructure,” the airport said in a statement. pronunciation.

Free trials for travelers going to Hawaii will be available Dec. 1 at Alaska Park.

The general public can still get COVID-19 vaccinations at the airport.

Even as they decline in Alaska, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are rising across the country, especially in colder states where more time indoors meant more transmission.

For most of September and October, Alaska had the highest number of seven-day cases in the country. By Wednesday, Alaska was ranked 18th among the states for the seven-day COVID-19 case rate, with 321.1 cases per 100,000 people.

Health officials have called vaccination the best tool Alaskans have for preventing future spikes. about 61% of 5 years and older in Alaska have received one dose of the injection, while 55% are considered fully vaccinated. Alaska is currently in the lower third – 31st among all states – because of the vaccination rate.

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has reported 840 COVID-19 deaths involving Alaskans and 30 among out-of-state residents.

Measured over the course of the pandemic, Alaska’s death rate is the sixth lowest in the nation, according to data from the CDA. Alaska’s number of deaths per 100,000 in the past week ranked 13th in the country.

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