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Alaska COVID-19 hospitalizations increase again, further squeezing ICU space




Alaska reported yet another record of hospitalization of people with COVID-19 throughout the weekend, amid a continuous surge associated with the highly infectious delta mutation that is responsible for most cases in the state.

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital also reported two new deaths on weekends among the numerous COVID-19 cases reported in the Fairbanks and North Pole communities, including 175 cases reported on Friday alone. Reported.

A combination of staff shortages, high hospitalizations, and a flood of COVID-19 patients, according to health providers and health authorities, has pushed state hospitals to the limit of what the system can handle and still provide care.

[Alaska’s COVID-19 hospitalizations are at pandemic highs. Here’s what that number really reflects.]

State data reported on Monday show 210 COVID-positive patients hospitalized around the state as of Sunday, more than half of whom are admitted to Anchorage. This is a slight increase from the 208 record set on Thursday. Virus-related hospitalizations have increased by more than 1,200% since late June, when there were only 20 COVID-positive patients at a time.

As of Monday, Anchorage Municipality report That data is subject to change quickly, but there are no intensive care unit beds available in the city.

Some ICU nurses care for twice as many patients as usual, health officials said late last week.

According to an email from hospital spokesperson Kelly Atley, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital reopened three meeting rooms for patient care last week as “emergency response to a massive COVID surge and a significant staff shortage.” I started to configure. Patients housed there probably do not need intensive care. The hospital has also migrated a day room within the nursing unit to accommodate five beds.

Hospitals cannot use the Carlson Center Arena for alternative care because Alaska does not have a positive urgent declaration to permit its use. According to Atley, staffing the center would nevertheless be difficult.

“This space is basically used when there is not enough space to provide care,” she writes.

Statistics show that most COVID-19 patients in the hospital are not vaccinated. According to the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, 81% of COVID-positive patients and 85% of ICU patients admitted in the last week of August were unvaccinated. Of the 18 COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilation, 17 were unvaccinated.

According to the state, as of Monday, 61.8% of eligible Alaskans had been vaccinated at least once, and 56.5% were fully vaccinated. data..Alaska on Monday after accepting the title of the most vaccinated state earlier this year Ranking 35th per person.

According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the state reported a total of 1,431 new cases over the three days of the weekend. This includes 784 Fridays. Dashboard..

The state dashboard does not yet reflect Fairbanks’ new death. No new deaths were reported as of Monday. Since March 2020, 445 Alaskans and 14 out-of-state residents have died of COVID-19.

According to state data, infections are also increasing in other areas, such as the North Slope Autonomous Region and the Washira and Palmer Matsus community, accounting for one-quarter (90 out of 370) cases reported on Saturday. I am.

State officials say the continued high number of new cases has led to a backlog of testing and contact tracing, both strategies used to limit the spread of the virus.

As of Monday, the state’s seven-day average positive test rate (the number of positive tests performed out of the total) was 9.25%, almost record since the pandemic began. Health officials say more than 5% indicate that further testing is needed.





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