The state Department of Health and Social Services is considering transitioning away from daily COVID-19 case counts, and toward reporting weekly trends.
The department is urging all Alaskans who have provided data to the department to act to protect themselves from identity theft.
State data shows that four of the Alaskans who died recently were Anchorage residents, and the fifth was a resident of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. It wasn’t immediately clear what Alaska community the other three people were from.
There has been only one other positive case in the state’s Pioneer Home system.
In a news conference Monday morning, state officials stressed that the risk of illness to Alaskans from the measures is minimal.
“We know many, many people are going to lose benefits because of this,” says Cara Durr with the Food Bank of Alaska.
The judge’s order, released Friday, found that a lawsuit over state cuts to Medicaid payments raised “at the very least, serious and substantial questions regarding DHSS’ finding of emergency.”
While Alaska’s state-owned psychiatric hospital has renewed federal certification, it still struggles to recruit staff and increase capacity.
A recent review from a federal watchdog agency found that Alaska health care providers failed to correctly report and monitor critical incidents involving people with developmental disabilities.
State epidemiology chief Joe McLaughlin says few people are entering the state who have been in the West African nations where the outbreak is occurring, which reduces the risk.