Alaska’s COVID-19 rates dropped but remain some of the highest in the country

A woman in a mask rolls up her sleeve as another woman in a mask prepares a shot.
Alaska Native Medical Center nurse Rocky Carloni rolls up her sleeve before getting a COVID-19 booster shot Monday, September 27, 2021. (Nat Herz/Alaska Public Media)

New COVID-19 cases in Alaska have dropped by more than a third in the last couple of weeks, but Alaskans are still getting infected and dying from the virus at rates that lead the nation.

Alaska on Monday had the fourth highest case rate and the highest death rate in the United States, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 1,089 new infections total from Saturday to Monday. Another two Alaskans died from the disease, both were Anchorage women above age 80, the department said.

Graph showing declining COVID-19 cases by week for October and November 2021. (Data from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)

The department also reported 155 COVID-19 patients in Alaska hospitals on Monday, with 19 of them on ventilators.

Hospital capacity remains limited, and the department says patients can anticipate long wait times, some care may be delayed and hospital beds may not be available.

Over the course of the pandemic, nearly one in five Alaskans have been infected with the virus, and more than 800 Alaskans have died.

Among Alaskans who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, those age 5 and older, 54% are fully vaccinated.

State health officials are also cautioning that the declining trend in COVID-19 infections might not be the case in future weeks.

Alaska Public Media’s Tegan Hanlon contributed to this report.

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