Updated: 5 hours ago Published: 11 hours ago
Alaska on Thursday reported 445 new cases of COVID-19 as a downward trend in infections continues.
The state now ranks the seventh highest nationally due to its rate of COVID-19 cases over the past week, at 371 per 100,000 people. Through most of September and October, Alaska had the highest case rate per capita.
The recent steady fall in cases has translated into some relief in the state hospitals, where 137 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday, including 18 people on ventilators. Just under 14% of all hospital patients in the state have COVID-19.
Those numbers do not include some people who are recovering from the disease and need ongoing care, often for several weeks after they are admitted.
Alaska’s hospitals thinned for months during the rise of COVID-19. As the situation worsened, the state hired several hundred out-of-state health workers and a number of hospitals activated emergency standards of care.
These standards are officially still active in some hospitals, but as admissions have declined, administrators report generally improved conditions, a better ability to transfer patients when needed, and less stress on staff and bed availability.
The state on Thursday reported no new deaths related to COVID-19. In total, the virus-related deaths of 812 Alicante people and 30 non-residents have been recorded since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Statewide, approximately 60% of Alacans aged 5 and older received their first dose of the vaccine while 54% are considered fully vaccinated.
Although cases have fallen from recent peaks, health officials say strengthening state vaccination will be key to preventing future increases in infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
Alaska currently ranks 32nd in the country among all states and Washington, due to its per capita vaccination, according to CDC data compiled by The New York Times.