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Five People Die from COVID-19 in One Week in Fairbanks

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital reported five COVID-19 related deaths last week. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that four of the deaths were unvaccinated people, and they were a broad range of ages.

Foundation Health Partners Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Angelique Ramirez, told the newspaper the hospital staff are grieving with the families who lost loved ones. She said, “It’s just hard on the staff given that people are dying of what we now consider a preventable disease.”

The deaths have not yet appeared on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard but have been reported to the Department of Health and Social Services.

Over the weekend, 13 people were hospitalized in Fairbanks either with COVID-19 or likely infeceted with the disease and awaiting test results.

On Friday the state reported that 105 people were in hospitals across the state with COVID-related hospitalizations. Twelve of these patients are on ventilators. The percentage of patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 is 9.2%.

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital tightened up vistor restrictions over the weekend. Spokesperon Kelly Atlee wrote that due to the aggressive nature of the Delta variant and the increase in community spread, visitation is now limited to one person per patient. Patients receiving end of life care are able to have two visitors and parents of a minor are allowed to visit their child.

Coordinators hope the restrictions will be temporary, but in the meantime, the hospital is trying to inform the community of the new rule. Atlee says it is difficult for visitors to come to the hospital only to be turned away.