Sitka reported 12 new coronavirus cases last Wednesday and Thursday, according to a report from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services published on Friday (12-17-21). The community also reported one new hospitalization and one new death.

According to a press release from the state, the newest casualty reported was a man in his 80s. His death was one of 57 reported in the state on Friday. According to a DHSS press release, all but one of the wave of COVID-related deaths were identified through death certificate reviews from August to November. 

The 12 new cases keep Sitka’s COVID rate in high alert, which means masks are required in public indoor areas by city mandate. New cases are now announced three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays by mid-day. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic nearly two years ago, Sitka has reported 1291 coronavirus cases, 28 hospitalizations, and six deaths. 

Sitka’s vaccine rate has stayed in the mid 70s for weeks. 77% of Sitkans are ‘fully vaccinated.’ But the amount of Sitkans who have received a booster is much lower. Just 41% percent of Sitkans 18 and up have received a booster shot. The state and the CDC currently recommend all Americans 18 and older get boosted six months after a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months after receiving a Johnson and Johnson shot. Read more about the CDC’s booster recommendations here.