Alaska again leads nation in rate of new COVID cases, reporting more than 5,000 infections in 2 days

The state health department announced an additional 5,497 new COVID-19 cases over the last two...
The state health department announced an additional 5,497 new COVID-19 cases over the last two days, and Alaska again leads the nation in the rate of new cases.(CDC)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 1:44 PM AKST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:38 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The state of Alaska announced an additional 5,497 new COVID-19 cases over the last two days, and again leads the nation in the rate of new cases per capita.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 2,820 new Alaska resident cases on Monday along with 51 of nonresident cases, and 2,566 new resident cases for Tuesday, along with 60 nonresident cases. The 17,270 additional cases between Jan. 19-Jan. 25 account for a 13% increase in cases compared to the previous week, according to state case data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list Alaska’s rate of new cases per 100,000 people over the last week as 2,986, which ranks higher than any other U.S. state and only ranks below the U.S. territory of Palau’s new case rate. Alaska jumped up four spots in the rankings since on Monday.

The last time Alaska was the state with the highest rate of new cases was in early November.

There are currently 136 people hospitalized with COVID-19, which is a slight decrease since the state last reported hospitalization data. There are four people who require the use of ventilators. There are now 11 adult ICU beds available in Anchorage, and 38 left open statewide.

As COVID-19 hospitalizations have climbed in recent weeks with the rise of the omicron variant, more health care staff have also been calling out of Alaska hospitals due to being sick with COVID-19, or being exposed. This has led to ICU bed capacity becoming somewhat more limited in Anchorage recently.

“The real limiting factor here are the staff call outs,” said Jared Kosin, president and CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, on Tuesday. “And that is across full facility operations, both critical and non-critical.”

The state also reported nine additional COVID-19-related deaths of Alaska residents on Wednesday. This brings the total number of COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began here to 1,048 Alaska residents and 33 nonresidents.

According to the state health department, the people who died ranged in age from their 50s to over 80 years old. The were four Anchorage residents, four wasilla residents and a woman from North Pole.

According to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard, 61.5% of all eligible Alaskans plus members of the military and veterans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while nearly 69% have gotten at least an initial vaccine dose. Vaccine data shows that just over 25% of Alaska residents and military members have gotten a booster dose.

Of the 5,497 COVID-19 cases reported by the state over the last two days, 5,386 of them were identified among Alaska residents of the following communities:

  • Anchorage: 2,001
  • Fairbanks: 572
  • Greater Wasilla area: 500
  • Greater Palmer area: 234
  • Eagle River: 233
  • North Pole: 189
  • Juneau: 158
  • Nome Census Area: 114
  • Bethel Census Area: 103
  • Seward: 96
  • Kodiak: 87
  • Ketchikan: 84
  • Utqiagvik: 75
  • Soldotna: 69
  • Chugiak: 62
  • Nome: 60
  • Bethel: 57
  • Homer: 54
  • Kusilvak Census Area: 54
  • Northwest Arctic Borough: 36
  • Dillingham: 32
  • Hooper Bay: 32
  • Kotzebue: 28
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 26
  • Delta Junction: 20
  • Sitka: 20
  • Aleutians East Borough: 19
  • Anchor Point: 17
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough North: 17
  • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area: 17
  • Sterling: 15
  • Unalaska: 15
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough South: 13
  • Valdez: 13
  • Unknown location: 13
  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula: 12
  • Houston/Big Lake: 12
  • Copper River Census Area: 11
  • Girdwood: 11
  • Hoonah-Angoon plus Yakutat: 10
  • North Slope Borough: 9
  • Tok: 9
  • Wrangell: 9
  • Chevak: 6
  • Craig: 6
  • Nikiski: 6
  • Petersburg: 6
  • Dillingham Census Area: 5
  • Fairbanks North Slope Borough: 5
  • Haines: 5
  • Chugach Census Area: 4
  • Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area: 4
  • Sutton-Alpine: 4
  • Healy: 3
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 3
  • Metlakatla: 3
  • Aleutians West Census Area: 2
  • Denali Borough: 2
  • Fritz Creek: 2
  • Ketchikan Gateway Borough: 2
  • Willow: 2
  • Cordova: 1
  • Ester: 1
  • Skagway: 1

Of the 111 additional nonresident COVID-19 cases reported over the last two days, 25 are in Anchorage, 24 are in Unalaska and 21 are in Fairbanks.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

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