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Health

Alaska’s COVID-19 rates dropped but remain some of the highest in the country

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Nat Herz
/
Alaska Public Media
Alaska Native Medical Center nurse Rocky Carloni rolls up her sleeve before getting a COVID-19 booster shot.

New COVID-19 cases in Alaska have dropped by more than a third in the last couple of weeks, but Alaskans are still getting infected and dying from the virus at rates that lead the nation. And state health officials caution that this declining trend might not be the case in future weeks.

Alaska has the fourth highest case rate and the highest death rate in the United States, according to data compiled by the New York Times.

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Graph showing declining COVID-19 cases by week for October and November 2021. (Data from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reports that Alaska’s hospital capacity remains limited. It says patients can anticipate long wait times, some care may be delayed and hospital beds may not be available.

Over the course of the pandemic, nearly one in five Alaskans have been infected with the virus, and more than 800 Alaskans have died.

Among Alaskans who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine (Alaskans age 5 and older), 54% are fully vaccinated.

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