Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update for February 7–13, 2021

Statewide transmission DecreasingStatewide alert status HIGHHospital
capacity
Adequate
Test
positivity
Moderate
23.3% 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- <5Red- <3 weeks until beyond capacity Orange- 3-6 weeks Yellow- >6 weeksRed->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 who are currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccination 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. Eligibility information can be found at covidvax.alaska.gov. 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.

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.
  • To stop COVID-19, including new strains of virus, from coming into Alaska and spreading, testing within 72 hours before returning to Alaska or on arrival and then strict social distancing until the test result is available is recommended. A second test 5-14 days after arrival is also recommended if the traveler is not fully vaccinated. 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.
  • 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

  • 1,121 new cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is a 11% 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 larger increase from 24.3 to 36.2. The Southwest and Southern Southeast regions also saw increases, from 20 to 27 and 6 to 11, respectively.
  • The highest case rates continue to be seen in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, but a substantial decrease was seen over the last week from 119.7 to 61.9..
  • The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of February 16, 2021 is -1.5% and new cases are expected to halve every 47 days based on current modeling, about half as slow as last week.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Regional case trends

Behavioral Health RegionCase rates Jan 3–
Jan 9
Case rates Jan 10– Jan 16Case rates Jan 17– Jan 23Case rates Jan 24– Jan 30Case rates Jan 31– Feb 6Case rates Feb 7– Feb 13
Anchorage Municipality39.531.922.818.616.514.7
Fairbanks North Star Borough39.342.129.916.814.012.3
Interior Region except Fairbanks27.126.823.819.518.922.4
Juneau City and Borough7.47.811.813.913.07.0
Kenai Peninsula Borough19.219.613.68.95.46.1
Matanuska-Susitna Region48.240.723.821.624.336.2
Northern Southeast Region7.714.710.14.54.94.2
Northwest Region46.669.051.321.49.16.6
Southern Southeast Region10.09.05.04.36.111.2
Southwest Region35.841.035.125.520.327.0
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region152.8136.3155.8131.9119.761.9
Statewide39.836.728.921.519.318.1

Vaccines status update

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update
Reported vaccinations as of February 16, 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.
  • A limited amount of vaccine is currently available with more expected to be delivered in the coming months. As of February 16th, more than 128,000 Alaskans had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine and more than 65,000 had received both doses. On February 16, 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 18%, and two shots, at 8.3%. 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 February 6 through 13, 2021, 1,121 new Alaska cases were reported, an 11% increase from last week, for a total of 54,590 cumulative cases in Alaskans.
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,199 with 6 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,187 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 12 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks.
  • Deaths among Alaska residents increased by 8 (285 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 Feb 6–13 may be reported in future as death certificates are reviewed.
  • 197 new nonresident cases were identified this week, for a total of 2,177 cases.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Health care capacity

  • On February 16, 28 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 2 were reported to require 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

Additional informational resources:

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

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