Alaska COVID-19 rates have fallen but remain among the highest in the country – Community News

Alaska COVID-19 rates have fallen but remain among the highest in the country

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

New COVID-19 cases in Alaska have fallen by more than a third in recent weeks, but Alaskans are still getting infected and dying from the virus at rates leading the nation.

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

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

Chart of declining COVID-19 cases by week for October and November 2021. (Alaska Department of Health and Social Services data)

The department also reported 155 COVID-19 patients in Alaska hospitals on Monday, 19 of whom are on a ventilator.

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

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

Of the Alaskans who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, aged 5 years and older, 54% are fully vaccinated.

State health officials also warn that the declining trend in COVID-19 infections may not be the case in the coming weeks.

Tegan Hanlon of Alaska Public Media contributed to this report.

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