Alaska’s COVID hospitalizations, patients on ventilators climb over the weekend

Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Alaska climbed over the weekend to near-record levels, and the number of the patients on ventilators also rose, according to state data.

Alaska continues to have the highest rate of COVID cases in the country.

By Monday morning, Alaska reported 216 COVID patients, 40 of them on ventilators. That’s up from 202 COVID patients on Friday, 35 of them on ventilators. And it’s just under the record 217 hospitalizations from Sept. 24.

COVID patients now make up roughly 22% of all hospitalizations in the state.

The state on Monday also reported that another Alaskan has died from the coronavirus. The man was in his 50s and from the Kusilvak Census Area in Southwest Alaska.

From Friday to Sunday, the state tallied nearly 2,300 new coronavirus cases.

As Alaska’s surge in coronavirus cases continues, and COVID patients overwhelm the state’s hospitals, doctors say they’re having to make gut-wrenching decisions about who gets scarce ICU beds.

Over the weekend, the state activated emergency crisis protocols that allow 20 medical facilities to ration care if needed. The state has also brought in hundreds of emergency health care workers from the Lower 48. 

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