DHSS COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update for February 14-20, 2021

Decreasing Statewide transmission
Rt 0.98
HIGH Statewide alert status
16.3%
Adequate Hospital capacityModerate Test positivity
2.1%
25.8%
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. A small number of Alaskans aged 16 and 17 have been vaccinated and are included.

Brief status report

  • Virus transmission continues to slowly decrease across most areas of Alaska, but the speed of decrease overall has flattened since late January. Four regions had increases in case rates during this week.
  • 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 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.
  • Two cases of B.1.1.7, a variant of concern, have been identified so far in Alaska. Both were in Anchorage and were associated with travel. One case of P.1, another variant of concern, was identified in a resident of Anchorage without known recent travel. Alaska’s Public Health Laboratories continue to monitor for variants of concern.

What Alaskans can do

  • Every Alaskan who chooses to wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, avoid indoor gatherings, and get vaccinated when eligible 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. The Southern Southeast Region had an increase in case rate from 11.2 to 14.8, and the Northern Southeast Region increased from 4.2 to 7.7. Larger decreases were seen in the Southwest Region, from 27.0 to 18.7, and in the Interior Region, from 22.4 to 12.0.  
  • The highest case rates continue to be seen in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region, but another substantial decrease was seen over the last week from 61.9 to 38.8 from a high of 155.8 four weeks prior.
  • The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of February 22, 2021 is -1.2% and new cases are expected to halve every 58 days based on current modeling, a little slower than last week.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Regional case trends

Behavioral Health RegionCase rates
Jan 10– Jan 16
Case rates
Jan 17– Jan 23
Case rates
Jan 24– Jan 30
Case rates
Jan 31– Feb 6
Case rates
Feb 7– Feb 13
Case rates
Feb 14– Feb 20
Anchorage Municipality31.922.818.616.514.713.9
Fairbanks North Star Borough42.129.916.814.012.312.7
Interior Region except Fairbanks26.823.819.518.922.412.0
Juneau City and Borough7.811.813.913.07.07.2
Kenai Peninsula Borough19.613.68.95.46.15.5
Matanuska-Susitna Region40.723.821.624.336.234.9
Northern Southeast Region14.710.14.54.94.27.7
Northwest Region69.051.321.49.16.65.5
Southern Southeast Region9.05.04.36.111.214.8
Southwest Region41.035.125.520.327.018.7
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region136.3155.8131.9119.761.938.8
Statewide36.728.921.519.318.116.3

Vaccines status update

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

 Reported vaccinations as of February 22, 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 can be found on covidvax.alaska.gov. 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. On February 22, 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 21%, and two shots, at 11.5%. 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.
  • 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 14 through 20, 2021, 823 1,121 new Alaska cases were reported, a 27% decrease from last week, for a total of 55,507 cumulative cases reported in Alaskans.
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,213 with 8 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,199 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 14 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks.
  • Deaths among Alaska residents increased by 2 (287 total). One occurred this past week and one 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 14–20 may be reported in future as death certificates are reviewed.
  • 69 new nonresident cases were identified this week, for a total of 2,246 cases.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Health care capacity

  • On February 22, 35 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 5 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

Cases by Week Reported and Age Group

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Race

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Region

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Additional informational resources:

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

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