The state reported that 28 residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Early Tuesday, the state reported that a data issue had delayed the update of hospitalization info since Dec. 14, meaning that last week’s reported number of 40 patients was incorrect. At that time, the Department of Health said that it was “working to compile a more current data source.” The updated number of 28 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is down from the 40 that was accurately reported two weeks ago.
The state reported no new resident deaths from COVID-19 this week. Deaths are reported in batches, as they are confirmed by the state. No information is provided about when these deaths occurred. The last update was two weeks ago, when 19 deaths were confirmed. To date, there have been 1,418 deaths statewide from COVID-19 and 120 in the borough.
Due to the widespread availability of at-home COVID testing, officials say hospitalization and recent death data are more effective indicators of the virus’ spread than case counts.
For the period of Dec. 25 to Dec. 31, 372 new resident COVID-19 cases were reported. Case counts are up from last week, when officials reported 332 new resident cases for the period of Dec. 18 to Dec. 24.
For the most recent week, 41 cases were reported in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. This is up from 24 last week, and the highest number of local cases reported since Nov. 2.
Officials recommend all eligible Alaskans be up to date on their COVID vaccines to minimize the infection’s impact on communities. Anyone 6 months and older is eligible for a primary vaccination series and can receive a booster.
An updated bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine is available in Alaska. These are designed to tackle both the original COVID-19 strain and the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of omicron. State health officials say that BA.5 is being detected in the majority of COVID-19 cases in Alaska.
This new booster is available to eligible individuals at least two months after their last shot, whether that was a booster dose or their primary vaccine series.
Boosters are recommended whether or not a person has already contracted the virus.
As of Tuesday, 57.2% of Alaskans have completed a primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine. Only 10.6% are up to date on their vaccine and have received the bivalent booster. In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 10.0% are up to date on their vaccine. In the borough, 48.8% — nearly half of all individuals — have not received even a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
For more information on vaccine eligibility, visit https://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/epi/id/pages/covid-19/vaccineinfo.aspx.
To find a COVID-19 or Influenza vaccine provider, visit vaccines.gov.
Reach reporter Jake Dye at firstname.lastname@example.org.