Alaska reports 1 death, 870 COVID-19 cases and a slight decline in hospitalizations Friday – Anchorage Daily News

Alaska on Friday reported one COVID-19 death, 870 cases and 150 hospitalizations following a recent trend of gradually declining virus case counts statewide.

Over the last week, Alaska saw about an 8% decline in cases compared to the week before, according to state data. But despite the generally downward trend, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Friday continued to show Alaska with the highest case rate in the nation. Over the past seven days, Alaska had 583.6 cases per 100,000 people, nearly four times the national rate.

Virus-related hospitalizations also continued to fall. By Friday, there were 150 people with COVID-19 hospitalized around the state, down from 159 reported Thursday. That number is still relatively high — it’s about the same number of people who were hospitalized during last winter’s peak in hospitalizations — but represents a significant drop from last week, when a record 236 hospitalizations were reported.

Of current patients, 25 required mechanical ventilation, and roughly 15% of all hospital patients were COVID-positive.

The percentage of COVID-19 tests returning positive results was 8.08% Friday, based on a seven-day rolling average. Epidemiologists say a rate above 5% can indicate widespread transmission and not enough testing. The current statewide positivity rate reflects a decrease from the pandemic highs recorded in recent weeks.

This week, vaccine providers around Alaska began offering child-sized doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to kids ages 5 to 11, following federal and state guidance. Parents seeking children’s vaccine options at Anchorage-area providers can look for those designations at anchoragecovidvaccine.org, which lists many, but not all, vaccine providers available.

[Relief, excitement and some anxiety as newly eligible Alaska children receive COVID-19 vaccine]

All Alaskans can also call the state’s coronavirus helpline at 907-646-3322 for assistance finding and making an appointment. That phone line is monitored from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends. Free language interpretation services are available.

Roughly 65% of Alaskans 12 and older have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The state’s vaccine dashboard will change next week to reflect the recent change in eligibility to all Alaskans 5 and older.