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

Alaska Native Medical Center nurse Rocky Carloni rolls up her sleeve before getting a COVID-19 booster shot. (Photo by 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. And state health officials caution that this declining trend might not be the case in future weeks.

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

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

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reports that Alaska’s hospital capacity remains limited. It 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 (Alaskans age 5 and older), 54% are fully vaccinated.

Claire Stremple

Alaska News Reporter, KTOO

I believe every Alaskan has a right to timely information about their health and health systems, and their natural environment and its management. My goal is to report thoughtful stories that inform, inspire and quench the curiosity of listeners across the state.

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