COVID-19 in Alaska

Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

Georgia Rolle, Staff Writer

Many states are getting worried about Covid-19 picking up again as flu season is approaching. Numbers are skyrocketing in some of the states but states like Alaska who had it under control are now concerned. This past week the state reached its highest point this year with positive cases almost doubling than the past weeks.

Throughout the entire summer, the state of Alaska had everything under control with the number of tourists and fisheries workers that arrived in the country. Unlike other states, Alaska also kept up with doing more testing, contract tracing, and phone calls to people who were infected more than any other state. All of this hard work paid off, but the winter scene is not looking too good as the cold weather is approaching.

Researchers believe as the temperatures drop below freezing, and restaurants and recreational activities moving indoors will cause a rise in the number of cases. Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer told the New York Times, “We’ve been markedly concerned about what the fall and winter will look like, and I think it’s playing out that it’s highly concerning.” More case clusters could eventually grow throughout the state since they will not have the benefit of isolation and wide-open spaces with the colder season.

Alaska has not been the only state infected with Covid-19 this week. On the mainland, more than 59,000 new cases have been recorded this week in many of the northern states. This shows the virus could rapidly spread again around America since most viruses spread easier in cold and dry conditions. The New York Times reported that Dr. Mohammad Sajadi said that there is evidence that the coronavirus is more virulent in colder weather and lower relative humidity. If this is the case many states around the country will be forced to shut down again and create new lockdown restrictions.

Since an outbreak is starting to happen in Alaska many Native communities are starting to get affected. Outbreaks could have a huge negative effect on communities like this because they are unconnected from the road system and many flights could have a hard time reaching them with the winter weather. These communities have been trying to contain the virus by having lockdowns but the tribal administrator, Ferdinand Cleveland from the west coast thinks it could get rough since they have a hard time getting supplies and the cold weather could hurt them badly.

As the winter weather approaches hopefully Alaska can keep the virus under control. This could be challenged if they lessen up on the testing and contract tracing but the state’s goal is to continue to keep up with taking notes on everybody who tests positive.

To read more in-depth about what is going on with Covid-19 in Alaska: