Only two weeks after a spike of 50 cases of COVID-19 locally in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, cases fell this week to a low not seen since 2021.
According to state data, 24 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Alaska. This is up from 22 last week. In the Gulf Coast region, which includes the Kenai Peninsula Borough, one hospitalization was reported, down from three last week. Statewide, two patients are on ventilators.
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 updates come roughly once a month, with the last update adding 19 deaths last week. To date, there have been 1,468 deaths statewide from COVID-19 and 124 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 March 26 to April 1, 401 new resident COVID-19 cases were reported in the state. Case counts are down from last week, when officials reported 512 new resident cases for the period of March 19 to March 25. This week’s total is the lowest reported since Jan. 3.
In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, only 12 cases were reported this week, down from 22 last week. According to data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this week’s total is the lowest reported in the borough since July 2021.
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.
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 this week, 56.8% of Alaskans had completed a primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine. Only 13.2% were up to date on their vaccine and had received the bivalent booster. State data says that in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 11.7% are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine, while 49.3% haven’t received even a single dose.
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 email@example.com.