State epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin said an omicron wave in Germany is showing the importance of getting boosted.
Alaska state health officials are educating public health nurses and other health care providers in how to identify, test and treat monkeypox cases.
Some of the highest case rates and sharpest increases were in communities — like Skagway, Petersburg, and Sitka — that will see a lot of visits from cruise ships.
Statewide, 59.6% of Alaskans are fully vaccinated. Local rates range from 79.6% in the Juneau region to 42% in the Matanuska-Susitna region.
In the last week, the omicron variant has pushed Alaska’s daily case counts higher than the fall delta variant surge and sidelined health care workers at an alarming rate.
Home test kit results aren’t necessarily captured in state pandemic data, which impacts other public health systems officials have been using to manage the pandemic.
Alaska’s vulnerability to a surge of omicron cases is about average compared with other states, according to Alaska’s top epidemiologist, Dr. Joe McLaughlin.
While case counts have seesawed some days, they’ve generally plateaued. Alaska continues to lead the country in its rate of COVID-19 cases.
One bill would expand the use of telehealth care, while another would allow Alaska to join a compact with other states to make it easier for nurses to be licensed in Alaska. Hospital leaders told lawmakers that it’s most important that the state act quickly, no matter the method.
Alaska tallied 882 new infections last week — up 140% from the week before. The vast majority of new cases involve people who aren’t vaccinated.