Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update for January 31 – February 6, 2021

 

Statewide transmission
Decreasing
Statewide alert status
HIGH
Hospital capacity
Adequate
Test
positivity
Moderate
19.8% of Alaskan adults vaccinated
Red- quickly increasing, Rt>1.2
Orange- increasing, Rt 1-1.2
Yellow-decreasing, Rt<1
Red- 14-day average case rate per 100,000 people >10
Orange- 5-10
Yellow- <5
Red- <3 weeks until beyond capacity
Orange- 3-6 weeks
Yellow- >6 weeks
Red->5%
Orange- 2-5%
Yellow- <2%
At least one shot. Estimated
AK population 18 and older of 551,585 from census.gov

Brief status report

  • Virus transmission continues to slowly decrease across most areas of Alaska, although Western Alaska case rates remain high.
  • Vaccination of Alaskans continues. Supply remains the main limiting factor.
  • Alaska is currently the most vaccinated state per capita.
  • DHSS encourages all Alaskans 65 and older to make appointments as soon as possible by visiting covidvax.alaska.gov or by calling 1-907-646-3322. The call line is now staffed Monday-Friday from 9AM-6:30PM and 9AM-4:30PM on weekends.
  • Alaskans under age 65 who are not healthcare workers or residents in nursing homes may not register for appointments at this time. Alaskans receiving health services through a Tribal Health Organization or the Department of Defense should contact those organizations directly to determine their eligibility.
  • Alaska continues to monitor for new variants of concern. One travel-related case of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first identified in the UK in December and is thought to be more transmissible than other strains, has been found in Alaska.
  • The Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub has moved and is now located at data.coronavirus.alaska.gov. The Hub is updated Monday – Friday; Monday updates contain case data reported over the preceding weekend.

What Alaskans can do

  • Every Alaskan who chooses to wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, and avoid indoor gatherings helps protect themselves and the health of all Alaskans.
  • New virus strains may be more transmissible. Wearing well-fitting masks, distancing, vaccination, avoiding gatherings, following all travel requirements, and other mitigation measures are our best tools to decrease the chance of the new variant entering Alaska and spreading.
  • Alaska Health Order 6 requires a test within 72 hours before arrival and strict social distancing for five days on arrival to Alaska. To stop new strains of virus from coming into Alaska and spreading, testing 1–3 days before travel, staying home for 7 days after travel and testing again 3–5 days after travel as laid out in the new CDC guidelines for international and domestic travel is highly encouraged. As of Jan 26, 2021, the CDC requires international travelers to show proof of a negative test from within the last 72 hours on arrival back in the US. The international test required by the CDC does not necessarily replace the test required for travel to Alaska, and travelers to Alaska are encouraged to be sure to obtain the correct type of test.
  • CDC guidelines recommend regular asymptomatic testing for critical infrastructure workers and other groups at higher risk for COVID-19.
  • Alaskans should get tested immediately at the first sign of any symptoms. Tests work best when obtained promptly after symptoms start. Testing early helps people know if they are positive quickly and helps prompt them to take immediate precautions to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus to others.
  • Most Alaskans get COVID-19 from a friend, family member, or coworker. Many Alaskans who are diagnosed with COVID-19 report that they went to social gatherings, community events, church services, and other social venues while they were contagious but before they knew they had the virus.
  • Alaskans should avoid indoor gatherings with non-household members, avoid crowds, wear masks when around non-household members, and stay 6 feet from anyone not in their household.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Case trends and predictions

  • 1,007 new cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is a 5% increase from the week before and still reflects continued high-level community transmission throughout much of Alaska.
  • 14-day average daily case rates were similar or slightly decreased in most regions of Alaska compared with last week; Mat-Su Region had a small increase from 21.6 to 24.3 and Northwest Region had a larger decrease from 21.4 to 9.1.
  • The highest case rates continue to be seen in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, with a slight decrease over the last week 131.9 to 119.7. The Kenai, Northwest and Southern Southeast regions have moved into an intermediate alert level and the Northern Southeast region remains in a low alert level, while other regions of Alaska and the state overall continue to have high community transmission and are at a high alert level.  
  • The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of February 8, 2021 is -2.95% and new cases are expected to halve every 24 days based on current modeling, slightly faster than last week.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Regional case trends

Behavioral Health RegionCase rates
Dec 20– Jan 2
Case rates
Jan 3– Jan 9
Case rates
Jan 10– Jan 16
Case rates
Jan 17– Jan 23
Case rates
Jan 24– Jan 30
Case rates
Jan 24– Jan 30
Anchorage Municipality40.039.531.922.818.616.5
Fairbanks North Star Borough32.639.342.129.916.814.0
Interior Region except Fairbanks23.827.126.823.819.518.9
Juneau City and Borough13.67.47.811.813.913.0
Kenai Peninsula Borough22.319.219.613.68.95.4
Matanuska-Susitna Region48.248.240.723.821.624.3
Northern Southeast Region7.07.714.710.14.54.9
Northwest Region25.346.669.051.321.49.1
Southern Southeast Region6.110.09.05.04.36.1
Southwest Region42.535.841.035.125.520.3
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region144.2152.8136.3155.8131.9119.7
Statewide38.639.836.728.921.519.3

Vaccines status update

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update
 Reported vaccinations as of February 5, 2020.

  • The State of Alaska is working with federal, local, Tribal, and military partners to ensure that the distribution of vaccine goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.
  • Currently eligible groups for vaccination include those in Phase 1a: healthcare workers and residents in nursing homes, and those in Phase 1b Tier 1, Alaskans aged 65 or older. Other groups in Phase 1b may not register at this time but may register as soon as vaccination opens for their phase and tier. All registration for vaccines should go through the registration system on covidvax.alaska.gov , which also has an eligibility tool for any Alaskan unsure of when they can receive the vaccine. All updates on phases and tiers will be posted on that website and new appointments are added on a continuous basis; Alaskans are encouraged to check it frequently.
  • The State of Alaska vaccine allocation of 119,100 does not include Tribal or military allocations, which are separate. The IHS allocation includes an additional 55,300 vaccines and is tracked on the dashboard, which also notes vaccinations by behavioral health region.
  • A limited amount of vaccine is currently available with more expected to be delivered in the coming months. As of February 6th, more than 109,000 Alaskans had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine and more than 43,000 had received both doses. On February 8, the New York Times vaccination tracker had Alaska leading all other states in the percent of the population that has received at least one shot, at 15%, and second only to West Virginia for percent of people given two shots, at 5.6% to West Virginia’s 5.8%. The Alaska vaccine tracker is available online as is a vaccine dashboard for more up-to-date data.
  • There is a several day lag in reporting some vaccinations so the dashboard does not yet reflect all vaccinations that have been given. All vaccines allocated to Alaska for December and January have been distributed.
  • There are no plans to mandate a vaccine at the state level.
  • The national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is responsible for providing national recommendations for vaccine administration and allocation.

New cases, hospitalizations, and deaths

  • During the week of January 31 through February 6, 2021, 1,007 new Alaska cases were reported, a 5% increase from last week, for a total of 53,694 cumulative cases in Alaskans.
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,187 with 0 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,179 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 8 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks.
  • Deaths among Alaska residents increased by 17 (277 total). All deaths occurred prior to this past week. It is common to take more than a week for a death to be reported, and more deaths that occurred during Jan 31–Feb 6 may be reported in future as death certificates are reviewed.
  • 227 new nonresident cases were identified this week, for a total of 1,980 cases.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Health care capacity

  • On February 8, 41 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 11 were reported to have required a mechanical ventilator.
  • Hospital staffing can change quickly, particularly if a community has many health workers impacted by COVID-19.

Total Confirmed COVID-19 Beds Occupied

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Age Group

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Additional informational resources:

For DHSS media inquiries, please contact clinton.bennett@alaska.gov

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