Forty-four more deaths were reported on the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services ECHO meeting today and on the state data dashboard. The new case count for the day shows 1,740 more cases of Covid.
The process of reporting deaths can take some time, so many of these cases are backlog deaths that are just now being logged in after going through the extensive maze of agency verification. The state now says that 514 deaths in Alaska can be attributed to Covid.
In today’s report, there are three nonresident and 41 Alaska resident deaths; again, from a mix of timeframe.
“Cases continue to climb in Alaska, and are nine times higher than the national level,” said Dr. Anne Zink, chief medical officer for the State of Alaska. “Alaska’s case rate is the highest in the nation.”
“This is the highest incidence in cases we have ever experienced,” Zink said. “We need to add layers of protection. Vaccination is key.” Anyone 12 and above who has not received a covid vaccine should get one right away, she said. People are eight times less likely to be hospitalized with Covid if they have been vaccinated.
This story is being updated.
Backlog describes cases that are not posted the next day. As the State has been trying to increase staff, the workload has not been updated. Most of the new 1,740 new cases were from the past week, but others date back further.
The DHSS says the cyberattack on the department’s website from earlier this year may have contributed to the delay in reporting, but staffing is also a contributing problem.