Novel coronavirus

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.

Credit: NIAID-RML

A Fairbanks resident in his 60s died recently from COVID-19 virus, according to the Tuesday report from the Department of Health and Social Services. The pandemic brought a total of 24 deaths to the Fairbanks area and 229 deaths to the state.

In terms of the virus spread, 130 additional people tested positive for COVID-19 in Alaska, which is the lowest number in a week. That number includes 125 residents and five non-residents.

Of the new cases, Fairbanks had three cases among residents, and North Pole had two among residents. One non-resident case was reported in Fairbanks.

Other Alaska locations with a high number of new cases include Anchorage with 29 cases, Wasilla with 21, Bethel Census Area and Kusilvak Census Area with 14 cases each and Bethel with 12.

The state also reported nine new hospitalizations that bring the number of Alaskans hospitalized with COVID-19 to 61. Nine of these patients are on ventilators.

There have been 56,869 COVID-19 vaccinations reported in Alaska, 12,178 of them with two doses completed.

For health workers and seniors eligible for vaccinations getting a COVID-19 vaccine shot is not always easy.

Appointments for vaccinations are filling up quickly, often within an hour after opening up, though the officials promise to add appointment slots and vaccination events as often as they can.

The process of registering for a vaccination does not seem straightforward to everyone either. Myrtle Miller has been trying to schedule her 67-year-old husband with congestion heart failure for receiving a vaccine.

“I called the state last week and didn’t receive a call back until this week,” she said. “And then they give you a run around: I call the state, and they tell me to call Fred Meyer. I call Fred Meyer, and they tell me I should contact the state.”

The state officials invite people to go to the state website covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322 and leave a message if they want to schedule an appointment for a vaccine or learn more about their eligibility to receive one.

Editor's note: The second and third paragraphs of this story have been updated to clarify that the new cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough are among residents and non-residents.

Contact staff writer Alena Naiden at 459-7587. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMlocal.