Alaska Comes To Terms With Nasty Surge While Delta Variant Rears Its Ugly Head

Hospitals Are Overcrowded, Kids & Elderly Affected As Covid Strikes Anew  August 21st, 2021: Copper Valley Has Steady Stream Of New Case...

Hospitals Are Overcrowded, Kids & Elderly Affected As Covid Strikes Anew 


August 21st, 2021:

Copper Valley Has Steady Stream Of New Cases
The number of people who have been sickened in the Copper Valley is going up all the time. Sometimes one or two a day – and sometimes large numbers all at once. (See stories in this Journal). By August 21st, the state showed that a total of 313 sick people had been counted in the Copper River Census Area by the Department of Health & Social Services so far. 

The Copper Valley covers miles of isolated highways, and is on the Alaska road system. It's a widespread, unincorporated, sparse community with only around 30% of our people vaccinated – and it has no hospitals.
 
Two Days & 33 Cases Into School, Mat-Su May Need Masks 
Schools in the Mat-Su Valley started up again only a few days ago. By Friday, 33 cases of Covid-19 had erupted at 16 Mat-Su borough schools. The school district is using on-campus testing, and student masking may not be far behind. 

According to Alaska News Source, Mat-Su's superintendent explained masking this way: "Do we want schools to be open, or do we want schools to be closed?" 

At Ketchikan Pioneer Home 5 Die Of Covid In One Week 
The Delta variant favors younger people, unlike the original Covid virus we saw last year, which targeted the elderly. But nevertheless, it's now circled back, and is going after older people again. 

Five people in the Ketchikan Pioneer Home just died in one week in August, after 17 people at the facility (12 residents and 5 staff) tested positive for Covid. 

This is a dramatic change to the worse for Ketchikan. Until this happened, only three people had died in the city, in all the months since the pandemic began. In just one week, Ketchikan went from a death rate of 3 to a death rate of 8.  

Juneau Faces Big Outbreak
By the end of its first week of school, 9 cases had been found in 5 Juneau Schools. Meanwhile, the city of Juneau has been averaging almost 20 new cases a day for the entire month of August. Hospital care is up for Covid in Juneau, and Bartlett Memorial Hospital is cutting back on allowing visitors. "Elective" medical procedures in Juneau – other than Covid – are being delayed. 

Medical care in Juneau is being overwhelmed. According to KTOO in Juneau, seriously ill patients are getting flown out of town. (This is in spite of the fact that over 82% of people in Juneau who are eligible for shots have gotten one.) 

The rush to get tested is so dire now that Juneau residents are asked to refrain from going to the Juneau airport to get a test, so they don't contaminate others who are milling around. 

Right now, in August, there are 203 counted "active" cases of Covid. Almost 2,000 Juneau residents have been known to have contracted the disease since the pandemic began.
 
Valdez & "Chugach Census Area" In Trouble
For months along the coast of Alaska, south of the Copper Valley, Cordova and Valdez kept things in check. But now, cases are galloping along, with 612 total counted so far, and 7 new cases just yesterday.

Anchorage's Hospitals Are In Danger
Anchorage's 3 hospitals – Alaska Regional, Providence and Alaska Native Medical Center – had a brief break this summer. Now the ICUs are working overtime. Throughout Alaska, the problem of staffing has been an issue. 

Due to staffing shortages, many Alaska roadside restaurants are closed several days a week, or have unusual and shortened hours. It's the same at the hospitals, as new, very sick patients pour in and there aren't enough specially trained staff to take care of them. 

In many ways, Anchorage's hospitals are "Alaska's hospitals." In the past, Seattle was the safety valve, and patients were sent there for major treatment. But Seattle is overbooked, too. 

As are hospitals all over the country. 

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