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Y-K COVID-19 cases outnumber previous 7-day total again

Katie Basile
Dr. Ellen Hodges tests a Bethel resident at a COVID-19 testing event hosted by the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel, Alaska on November 7, 2020.

This past week's seven-day case total for the region is the 14th highest case total since the beginning of the pandemic, and the sixth highest in 2021.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation reported 254 new COVID-19 cases in the region from Oct. 25 to Oct. 31. YKHC also reported two new hospitalizations in-region, two medevacs, and the deaths of three residents due to the virus during this one week period.

Twenty-four more cases were reported this week than last week. This is a 10% increase in cases in the region compared to the previous week. Last week there were 230 new cases, three hospitalizations in-region, and two deaths. The region’s case rate is still much higher than both that of the state and nation, and has been over the course of the pandemic. Currently the Y-K Delta’s COVID-19 case rate is more than six times higher than the national case rate, and 1.4 times higher than the state’s.

Last week, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 3,867 new COVID-19 cases statewide. During that time, the Y-K Delta made up 15% of the state’s new cases.

Case rates have fallen significantly, about 71% within in the region since three weeks ago when YKHC announced the third highest seven-day case rate since the beginning of the pandemic. Historically, the Y-K Delta’s case trends have followed state trends. However, this past week the region’s cases have increased while the state’s cases have decreased. The national case count has stayed constant over the same period of time.

In alphabetical order by community, over the past week YKHC announced 10 cases in Akiachak, 11 in Alakanuk, 33 in Atmautluak, 29 in Bethel, one in Chefornak, three in Chevak, 20 in Crooked Creek, six in Emmonak, four in Hooper Bay, 26 in Kasigluk, one in Kipnuk, 17 in Kwethluk, one in Kwigillingok, one in Marshall, 15 in Mekoryuk, three in Mountain Village, one in Napaskiak, 18 in Newtok, 12 in Nunapitchuk, four in Pilot Station, one in Quinhagak, one in Russian Mission, three in Scammon Bay, four in St. Mary’s, seven in Toksook Bay, eight in Tuluksak, three in Upper Kalskag, and six in unnamed Y-K Delta villages.

Across the Y-K Delta, 14,660 individuals, or 77.2% of the eligible population, are fully vaccinated against the virus, according to state data.

How does the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta compare to state and national trends?

Per capita, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta is reporting more COVID-19 cases on average than the state and nation. From Oct. 25 to Oct. 31, YKHC announced an average of 36.1 new COVID-19 cases each day, about two more cases per day than the week before. Per 100,000 people in the region, about 875.9 developed COVID-19 in the last seven days. In the same time period, the state announced 625.3 new cases per 100,000 people across Alaska, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced 145.9 cases per 100,000 people across the U.S.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta has a higher vaccination rate than both the state of Alaska and the U.S. So far, 14,660 people in the region have been fully vaccinated against the virus. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services calculates that makes up 77.2% of the eligible population, compared to 60.2% of eligible Alaskans who’ve been vaccinated and 67.8% of eligible Americans.

Elyssa (she/her) is the Wellness Programming Producer and a second year Jesuit Volunteer/Americorps Member at KYUK. She loves dogs, listening to podcasts and playing ABBA to close out the Birthday Line.
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