The highly contagious delta variant is spreading across Alaska, driving one of the nation’s sharpest upticks in infections and posing concerns for those who may not be able to reach medical care, the Associated Press reports.
Alaska’s health care system largely relies on hospitals in Anchorage, the state’s largest city, and experts worry that remote outposts like Tanacross – where the closest hospital is hours away – are at risk.
The state’s largest hospital, Anchorage’s Providence Alaska Medical Center, is said to be overwhelmed with patients and declared crisis-of-care protocols, meaning doctors are sometimes prioritising care based on who has the best odds of survival.
Health care providers worry for those needing higher levels of care who live in rural areas, concerned no beds may be available.
Alaska has contracted nearly 500 medical professionals to help over the next few months but health officials say hospital staffing is still limited and blame rising Covid-19 infections and low vaccination rates in the state. About 60% of eligible residents in the conservative state are fully vaccinated.
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, one in every 84 people in Alaska was diagnosed with COVID-19 from 22 September to 29 September, the nation’s worst diagnosis rate in recent days.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.
I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll be giving you a rundown of the latest coronavirus updates as they happen.
England has been urged to step up the distribution of Covid booster shots and second vaccinations for teenagers to avoid a surge of the virus over winter, a senior scientist advised.
Prof Neil Ferguson, the head of the influential disease modelling group at Imperial College London, said even a moderate rise in infections could put the NHS under pressure.
The head of the International Monetary Fund said the most serious obstacle to a full recovery was the vaccine divide between rich and poor nations and warned the global economy could suffer a cumulative $5.3tn loss over the next five years unless it was closed.
Here is a round-up of all the day’s leading coronavirus news stories.
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