Alaska reports another 7 deaths from COVID-19

A sign points to the entrance of the Emergency Room at Alaska Regional Hospital on Aug. 24, 2021. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska on Tuesday reported another seven deaths from COVID-19, and a near-record number of hospitalizations as the state continues to experience one of the sharpest surges of coronavirus in the country.

The state health department said all seven deaths were recent, and six involved men from Anchorage. Three of the men were in their 50s, two in their 60s and one in their 70s. Also, a nonresident in her 60s was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Juneau and hospitalized in the city. She was then medevaced out for additional care and later died, according to a City and Borough of Juneau spokesperson.

Since the pandemic started, 451 Alaskans have died from COVID-19. The state has reported about a dozen recent COVID deaths over the past week, not including Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, 202 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized in Alaska, and 33 of them were on ventilators, according to state data.

Alaska still ranked second in the nation on Tuesday for the largest increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the prior two weeks, behind just North Dakota, according to The New York Times.

Alaska hospitals are feeling the strain.

Hospital workers say they’re overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. And on Tuesday, Providence Alaska Medical Center, Alaska’s largest hospital, started rationing care due to the surge. It’s a crisis point health care workers have warned about for weeks.

The state also reported nearly 700 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

The percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive in Alaska remains high. Over the past week, 9.1% of tests came back positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers 5% to be too high.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated a woman in her 60s died in Juneau. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Juneau but was receiving care outside of Juneau when she died. 

This story has been updated with more information from the City and Borough of Juneau.

Alaska Public Media

Alaska Public Media is our partner station in Anchorage. KTOO collaborates with partners across the state to cover important news and to share stories with our audiences.

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