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.
The World Health Organization has warned that omicron spreads faster than any other variant of the coronavirus.
The state Thursday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases, after setting a record high Wednesday.
The state also reported 801 new coronavirus infections, the second highest daily case count since the pandemic began a year and a half ago
Alaska Airlines says it prevented a COVID-19 infected passenger from boarding a flight in Seattle on Tuesday after they’d arrived from Alaska on a multi-leg trip that included Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan.
Scientists say the vaccines appear to be only slightly less effective against the delta strain and still provide strong protection from severe disease and death. And research suggests the shots may also make it less likely for vaccinated people to spread the virus even if they test positive.
This spring, Alaska was hailed as a vaccination success story — shipping doses via plane, snowmachine and boat to remote corners of the vast state. But it has gradually fallen from first place to the middle of the pack in the six months since the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrived here in mid-December.
Alaska’s state health department reports that one-tenth of one percent of vaccinated Alaskans ended up testing positive for COVID-19 in February and March.
The true number of positive tests is significantly higher than the figures on the Alaska coronavirus dashboard. That’s because the state health department can’t keep up with entering hundreds of new cases into its system each day, a state epidemiologist said.
Dr. David Scordino, director of the emergency department at Alaska Regional Hospital, says that it’s hard to quantify the rise in the number of patients, but he says it’s noticeable.