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Y-K Delta hospitalizations are reaching new highs after another record-breaking week of COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 hospitalizations are spiking again.
Elyssa Loughlin
COVID-19 hospitalizations are spiking again. Last week, five individuals were admitted to the YKDRH for complications due to COVID-19.

Last week, from Jan. 24 to Jan. 30, 2022, the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) announced 725 new COVID-19 cases across the region. This is a new high for the region. The previous weekly high recorded 688 cases between Jan. 10 and Jan. 16.

Hospitalizations also spiked last week. Four individuals were hospitalized in-region, and one was medevaced due to the virus during this one week period. Hospitalizations have not been this high in a one-week period since early in the delta surge, when YKHC reported seven hospitalizations and one medevac between Oct. 9 and Oct. 15, 2021.

Hospital beds across the state are also in high demand. There are currently 28 adult ICU beds available across Alaska. Statewide, hospitals are at over 75% capacity. The region’s case rate continues to outpace state and national infection rates.

Last week, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 13,906 new COVID-19 cases across Alaska. During that time, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta made up 5.2% of the state’s new cases.

Over the past week, in alphabetical order by community, YKHC announced nine cases in Akiachak, 32 in Akiak, 10 in Alakanuk, 19 in Aniak, 10 in Atmautluak, 232 in Bethel, 15 in Chefornak, 26 in Chevak, 10 in Eek, 10 in Emmonak, two in Holy Cross, 36 in Hooper Bay, two in Kalskag, eight in Kasigluk, three in Kipnuk, 13 in Kongiganak, three in Kotlik, 16 in Kwethluk, nine in Kwigillingok, five in Lower Kalskag, three in Marshall, one in Mertarvik, 44 in Mountain Village, two in Napakiak, six in Napaskiak, two in Newtok, 18 in Nunam Iqua, six in Nunapitchuk, 31 in Pilot Station, 17 in Quinhagak, four in Russian Mission, nine in Scammon Bay, 44 in St. Mary’s, seven in Toksook Bay, eight in Tuluksak, 32 in Tuntutuliak, five in Tununak, and eight in unnamed Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Villages.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta case rate remains higher than both that of the state and the nation. Per 100,000 people over seven days, about 2,500 developed COVID-19 in-region. That’s compared to the national case rate of 1,057 cases per 100,000, and the state case rate of 2,103.4 per 100,000 over the same period of time. While the state and region’s cases have grown over the past week, the nation’s case rate has dropped.

YKHC reports that 65.7% of the eligible population is completely vaccinated against COVID-19, a 0.3% increase from last week. DHSS reports that 61.7% of all eligible Alaskans have completed a vaccine series. Nationwide, 67.9% of the population that is five or older is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Local health officials continue to urge wearing masks and getting vaccinated and boosted against the virus to protect your health, and to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed by new cases. Anyone with questions about the virus is encouraged to visit the YKHC COVID-19 Dashboard or call the COVID-19 hotline at 543-6949.

Elyssa (she/her) was the Wellness Programming Producer from 2020-2022.
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