Two new state-released reports on Thursday scrutinize coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations that occurred in Alaska from January to mid-October.
They show that so far, Alaska’s overall death and hospitalization rates are lower than the rest of the country. The national COVID-19 mortality rate is about seven times higher than that of Alaska, and the overall US hospitalization rate is about four times higher.
Nearly all – 93% – of those admitted to hospital in Alaska (with known medical history) also have a potentially high-risk condition, the report said.
The reports also revealed that race, age, and sex were all factors leading to the likelihood of death and serious illness caused by COVID-19 in Alaska.
These rates are both highest among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, who make up just 1% of the state’s population but account for 15% of all viral hospital admissions and 10% of COVID deaths- 19. The per capita mortality rate for this group is 83.6 per 100,000, compared with just 6.6 in White Alaska.
The rate is also high among Alaska Aboriginal people, which account for about 16% of the population but account for a third of all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, with a per capita mortality rate of 26.7. Mortality rates are also high for Asian Alaska at 18.5 per 100,000 and for Black Alaska at 14.1 per 100,000.
“These disparities highlight long-term system health and social inequalities that put more people of color at risk for COVID-19, hospitalization and death,” the report said.
Men are also more likely to die from the virus: They account for 63% of all deaths. However, they are hospitalized at the same rate as women.
The CDC also stated that the older they get, the more likely they are to die or be hospitalized from the virus, and that trend is also in the Alaska data: Mortality is highest among people over 80 years old, continued is in the 70s.
Alaskans over the age of 65 account for about 80% of the state’s total deaths and the majority of hospitalizations.
“COVID-19 is a life-threatening disease,” the report said. “So it is important that all of Alaska do its part to stop the spread of disease. When we all do our part, we will protect individuals at risk of more severe COVID-19.
These measures include maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from others, avoiding crowds, wearing masks and washing hands frequently.