So far, at least 75 cases of five coronavirus variants of concern have been identified through testing and sequencing efforts in Alaska, according to the latest weekly report from the state. Health officials continue to encourage Alaskans to wear face masks in public, avoid large gatherings, wash hands frequently and be vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent further spread.
Alaska in March became the first state in the country to open vaccination requirements to all 16 and older living or working in the state. You can visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322 to sign up for a vaccine appointment; new agreements are added regularly. The telephone line is staffed from 9 to 18:30 on weekdays and from 9 to 16:30 on weekends.
Before Thursday 263,475 people – 43% of Alaskans eligible for a shot – had received at least their first dose, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard. At least 198,262 people – approx. 33% of Alaskans 16 and older – were considered fully vaccinated.
On Thursday there were 41 people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in hospitals across the state, well below a peak in late 2020, but part of a minor increase over the past few weeks.
Of the 222 cases reported to Alaska residents Thursday, 69 were in Anchorage plus two in Chugiak and 10 in Eagle River; five in Valdez; one in Anchor Point; fire in Kenai; one in Nikiski; fire in Soldotna; to i Sterling; three in Kodiak; 19 in Fairbanks plus 16 in the North Pole; one in Houston; 16 in Palmer; 41 in Wasilla; and in Nome; one in Douglas; fire in Juneau; and two in Sitka.
Among communities of less than 1,000 people unnamed to protect privacy, there were two in the northern Kenai Peninsula; one in the southeastern Fairbank census area; six in the Mat-Su district; two in the northwestern Arctic district; fire in Bethel Census Area; and five in the Kusilvak census area.
Five cases of non-residents were also reported: one in Valdez, one in Wasilla, one in Juneau and two in an unidentified region of the state.
While people may be tested more than once, each case reported by the state health department represents only one person.
State data do not specify whether people who test positive for COVID-19 have symptoms. More than half of the country’s infections are transmitted from asymptomatic people, according to CDC estimates.
Of all tests performed during the last week, 3.18% returned positive.