COVID update: 4 new cases - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, August 5, 2020
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COVID update: 4 new cases

Four more cases of COVID-19 coronavirus cases were diagnosed in the daily count ending midnight Sunday.

The total number of cases statewide has been 345. One person was hospitalized, bringing the total to 37. And 218 Alaskans have recovered from the Wuhan coronavirus.

Three of the new cases are in the municipality of Anchorage, and one is in the Mat-Su.

  • Anchorage: 171
  • Kenai Peninsula: 19
  • Fairbanks/North Star Borough: 80
  • Southeast Fairbanks Census Area: 1
  • Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area: 1
  • Kodiak: 1
  • Mat-Su Borough: 21
  • Nome Area 1
  • Juneau: 27
  • Ketchikan: 16
  • Petersburg: 3
  • Craig: 2
  • Bethel: 1
  • Sitka: 1

Nationwide, there have been 978,514 cases of COVID-19 and over 55,261 deaths attributed to the virus, although critics are now saying that anyone who died while infected with the coronavirus is counted as a related death, even if they die of another condition, due to hospitals being incentivized to state COVID-19 as the cause of death.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • We want new cases to drop to zero, but we can’t get herd immunity Unless 60-70% of us get it? Still trying to figure out the plan. I understand we don’t want to overwhelm the healthcare system, but we have have had many business owners self destructing their life’s dreams to prevent that, and apparently it did- maybe that was a good trade off, maybe it wasn’t, but regardless, it would be good if we also had a plan for long term immunity. 18 months of what we just went through or 18 months of what the next two weeks are going to look like, and there will be no small businesses left.

    • I am sure we have had it in Alaska a long time as in “Look at our Recovery Rate” It is all over the state we must have had a strong early dose in December. Last year we had 18 Deaths from the Flu. 16 adults and two children. We have had 7 covid deaths in the state. I doubt we will overwhelm the system. Look at South Dakota a little larger than us and they have had a lot of immunity. I hate to tell you this but this Pandemic is not the calimmity you are looking for.

      • Stephen Wright has an interesting opinion. The first Coronavirus case in the US was reported in late January from the Seattle area. However, Chinese tourists were visiting Alaska in December and January. Could it be that the first US cases were actually in Alaska, but only manifested as colds, the common flu, or were asymptomatic? I have friends here in Alaska who were sick just before and after Christmas. Yet, no consideration was ever given to COVID back then.

        • Probably not. There was a bad cold going around then with a wet cough. Not the dry hacking burn your lungs cough.

    • Ask your single friends if it would be better if 60-70% of their dates had genital herpes and if so, would that be enough of the herd to somehow make your buddy immune.

      You’re still trying to figure out that plan because it’s a shit plan.

      • I guess that analogy would work if this were anything like an std, and since it isn’t I guess it doesnt.

        Theres two ways to get immunity; a vaccine, or herd immunity. A vaccine they say is 18 months away. If we are seeing that 20% of some populations have already had this, that means that that A) the death rate is vastly lower than has been reported, and that B) we could achieve herd immunity by or before the end of the year.

        Waiting 18 months holed up in our caves like rats seems to be the worst possible plan. There won’t be much of a country or a state to come back to if that’s the plan.

        • Let’s use a slightly less preposterous example because you are still trying to figure out the plan:

          Herd immunity worked well on polio.

          Herd immunity worked well enough that vaccines haven’t been necessary

          Herd immunity worked well on Spanish Influenza

          There’s a reason you’re “still trying to figure out the plan”.

          • Let me clarify-here’s what I don’t get about “the plan”:

            First, I’m not sure why we aren’t letting humans be humans, and go about their lives, largely, with some precautions and protecting the vulnerable, but letting the young and healthy deal with the disease through its normal course. Second, I don’t see destroying economies wholesale-And the lives that make up those economies- because they aren’t abstract constructs, they represent people’s life’s work-I don’t see purposeful destruction of all that as a viable plan.
            Lastly, I don’t know what we as a people have done to cause those we have elected to represent us, to have such little regard for our judgment as to trust us as little as these orders imply they do. If anything I think it should be the other way around..

            Adding to that-I see pretty much everyone making “the plan” as still having a paycheck, in most cases with a pension to fall back on, in a very real sense having nothing to lose by shutting down the lives and livelihoods of the people that do. Anytime the people making the call have no skin in the game, that’s a bad thing. They can be well meaning, and I’m sure a lot of them are, but it’s a helluva thing to ask people to destroy their hopes and dreams, not to mention their only source of revenue, based on the predictions and precautions of those are won’t have to make the same sacrifice.

        • Then it mutates and kills you and you’re like whhaaatttt?

      • That actually makes no sense whatsoever

        • You are correct. Neither does herd immunity. The concept requires that so many people have been exposed that the virus no longer has enough of an untouched population in which it can spread and that concept is inherently flawed. That might make sense to some but it’s not a reliable solution for a thinking individual.

          Further, herd immunity and social restrictions are mutually exclusive. Ask yourself if your friend’s cell mediated immunity will cure anything you’re exposed to. For the answer to be yes you’d have to be a politician.

      • Wrong analogy but good try. Since 50% of the population has the simplex, 50-50 you have it already. Maybe the analogy of chicken pox would be more accurate.

        • The analogy isn’t that far out. This from Wiki:

          Worldwide rates of either HSV-1 and/or HSV-2 are between 60 and 95% in adults.[4]

          Based on the concept you’re being fed my analogy is as valid as any other and put in clearer focus we can all see that herd immunity works great for an annoying cold but is a deeply flawed concept for much of anything else.

    • The assumption in the ointment is that recovery confers some benefit to the immune system. Facts not in evidence.
      .
      If I get HIV and don’t die immediately will I become immune. I think one guy somewhere did.

      • Previous coronavirus outbreaks have resulted in exactly ZERO vaccines and immunity to those who survived ranging from a few months to a few years…along with a whole slew of various aliments to go along with the short lived immunity. This being an entirely new virus expecting a vaccine isn’t logical and expecting some length of immunity isn’t a great plan.

  • Alaska is doing exceptionally well, from a statistical standpoint. We are a generally isolated state and have kept incoming travel to an extremely low level. Our health care facilities are on high alert and well staffed, with good contingency plans in place. We should be SLOWLY going back to work by May 4th with these self-imposed restrictions in constant operation and full compliance:
    .
    1). Everyone still wears a mask when in a public area.
    2). No more than 6 people in an area of 6 feet diameter. 6×6 rule.
    3). Wear gloves when touching any public surface;. ie. post office door, restaurant door, public transit handrail, etc.
    4). No hand shaking.
    5). Wash hands regularly with soap.
    6). Carry small bottle of hand sanitizer.

    Good luck to everyone and STAY SAFE!

  • In what manner are hospitals incentivized?

    • In four ways; A) they are paid 20% more from Medicaid for treating these patients over traditional flu or respiratory patients, B) they are
      Paid by Medicaid for uninsured patients (for whom they would not have been paid at all) if they are Covid 19 patients, and C) those uninsured patients are also paid at the higher rate (+20% of MC rates) and D) the use of a ventilator adds a Significant amount to the reimbursement as well.

      I don’t think anyone is committing fraud- at least it hasn’t been reported, and I certainly don’t think anyone is being put on a ventilator who doesn’t absolutely need it, but anytime you go from having a service provided with no reimbursement, to getting 120% of normal? That’s a natural incentive, especially when this is just reporting and there is the latitude that there is here to report it as Covid without a positive.

      Also- this is a bit more nebulous- but one would intuitively think the more classified cases of Covid a particular hospital treats, the more potential aid it will get from future legislation. That’s not a given by any stretch, but It stands to reason the higher the number reported the better the potential help from the state or the feds down the road.

      • Interesting. Thank you. This would go a long way toward explaining why Covid-19 is listed as cause of death over all other comorbidities.

  • WoW the Recovery curve is squashing the Pandemic Curve. Go Alaska…Open Now…We haven’t had a Covid death in quite some time, so much for incentives relating to death now we need to incentivise our economy and incentivise the private sector. Time to restore Alaska and may our PFD whole Again.

    • This State is fixing to have a lot fewer people, right quick.

  • If you died while infected, it probably killed you or you died on the way to the hospital in an ambulance.

  • The trend line for hospitalizations would also be useful to see. For example, if we have 120 active cases which includes fifteen people in the hospital, it might be useful to put that in the balance against the costs of permanently crippling the economy for 700,000 people. It is a discussion that must take place.

    • You act like there is a choice. You think Alaska closing down restaurants is crippling the economy? We could go on like business as usual and the economy is still going to be crippled. From the factory closers in China, to the meat packers closing in the States to empty airports and seaports and no fuel getting consumed across the world. Lifting the mandates will do precisely what to fix any of that???

  • I continue to see a whole lot of misconceptions being offered as facts about immunity. Repeating misconceptions is not a preferred method for understanding new phenomena.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30985-5/fulltext

    • But, but, it’s just a flu, bro!

  • Herd immunity works by killing the susceptible population and calling the remainder immune.

    In that manner herd immunity cured the Bubonic Plagues of 1200-1500.

    …and it cured the plague by killing 2/3rds of the population.

    Curiously, a huge percentage of the viral scourges throughout history have originated in China including plague.

    A better way to articulate the current hoax would be to refer to it as herd panic.
    The panic originates from politicians not qualified to interpret epidemiology stats and is confirmed by those those capable of drawing an objective conclusion but whom are paid by politicians to weight their perspective accordingly.

    You have been duped and will now pay dearly. The question is; who could’ve benefited from such a ruse and why so much effort?

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