Alaska hospital leader hopeful about virus hospitalizations

An emergency sign outside a hospital.
Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

The leader of Alaska’s hospital association cited a recent decline in hospitalizations related to COVID-19 as a possible turning point following a prolonged period in which resources at health care facilities in the state were stretched thin.

“We’re feeling like the situation (in hospitals) is becoming manageable in a way that it hasn’t been in a long time,” Jared Kosin, president and CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, told the Anchorage Daily News.

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital announced Tuesday it was deactivating crisis standards of care in place since early October. Crisis standards of care provide guidelines for administering care in extraordinary circumstances in which there are insufficient resources to provide levels of care that patients would normally get.

RELATED: Alaska records 28 more COVID-19 deaths

A return to the less pressured “contingency” standard of care reflected lower hospitalization rates at the hospital and statewide that improved capacity and made patient transfers easier when needed, Foundation Health Partners, of which the hospital is a part, said in a statement.

Kosin said if the trend in hospitalization numbers hold, the expectation is that crisis standards of care also would be deactivated at other facilities.

In Alaska, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped below 200 earlier this month, according to the state health department, which on Tuesday reported 142 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized.

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