COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: May 16-22, 2021

    Clinical Update Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update

Brief Status Report
The statewide average daily case rate decreased to the lowest level in eight months, corresponding to an intermediate alert status for the first time since September 2020.

The decrease in average daily case rate mirrors the national decline in new cases. Although testing has decreased in recent weeks, test positivity remains low, indicating a true decline in cases.

Since January 1, 2021, >98% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alaska have been among people who were unvaccinated.

Vaccination rates have slowed considerably in recent weeks; locations with lower vaccine coverage are expected to see relatively higher SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates.

There has been a steady increase in the number of infections caused by the B.1.1.7 variant of concern. Nearly 54% of Alaskans aged 16 years and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

54% of the State/IHS vaccine allocation so far has been administered. Alaska is currently the twenty-sixth most vaccinated state per capita for adults aged ≥18.

As of May 12, all Alaskans aged ≥12 years are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost.

Starting June 1, anyone, including nonresident tourists, arriving at the Juneau, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, or Anchorage airports will be able to get a dose of vaccine free of charge at the airport.

Case Trends and Predictions
384 cases were reported in Alaskans last week.

This is a 19% decrease from the week before.

Case rates continued to increase in the Southern Southeast region. Small increases were also seen in the YK Delta and Interior regions.

Case rates decreased in 7 of the 11 behavioral health regions this week.

The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of May 24 is -4.1% and new cases are expected to halve every 17 days based on current modeling.



Vaccination Status
Reported vaccinations as of May 24, 2021.

Anyone aged ≥12 years who lives or works in Alaska is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

On May 24, Alaska was the twenty-sixth most vaccinated state per capita for adults aged ≥18 years. The Alaska vaccine dashboard is available online for more up-to-date data.

To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322. The call line is staffed Monday-Friday from 9AM-6:30PM and 9AM-4:30PM on weekends.

New Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths

During the week of May 16 through May 22, 2021, 384 cases were reported in Alaskans. This is a 19% decrease compared to the week prior, for a total of 67,199 cases. Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,553 with 4 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,542 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 11 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks. No deaths were reported this week; however, four deaths that occurred in earlier weeks are newly reported (362 total). It is common to take more than a week for a death to be reported, and deaths that occurred during May 16-May 22 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed. 14 new nonresident cases were identified this week for a total of 2,800 cases.

Vaccine Breakthrough Cases

Vaccine breakthrough (VB) infections of COVID are those detected in a person who is more than 2 weeks beyond their second dose of a 2-dose series or the only dose of a 1-dose series. As of May 1, 2021, CDC changed reporting of VB cases to be only those associated with hospitalization or death. From January 1–May 17, 2021, Alaska has recorded one death and eight hospitalizations resulting from a VB infection. These counts are provisional and subject to change as more data are compiled. In that same time frame, a total of 20,618 cases, 462 hospitalizations, and 98 deaths were reported. 98.3% of all hospitalizations to date were people who are unvaccinated. Specimens from VB infections (regardless of severity) are prioritized for sequencing and described in the weekly Alaska Genomics Report CDC released an MMWR this week characterizing the current epidemiology of VB cases for the nation
Variant Tracking The most recent Alaska COVID Genomic Surveillance report was released on May 19 Cumulative totals of variants identified in Alaska:

Health Care Capacity On May 24, 17 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 2 were reported to require a mechanical ventilator.

Total Confirmed COVID-19 Beds Occupied

Cases by Week Reported and Age Group

Cases by Week Reported and Race Cases by Week Reported and Region

Additional informational resources: The State of Alaska COVID-19 vaccine status update page: The State of Alaska COVID-19 information page provides more information about the virus and how individuals and businesses can protect themselves and others from transmission For the most up-to-date case information, see the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub dashboard: updated Monday – Friday at data.coronavirus.alaska.gov For DHSS media inquiries, please contact clinton.bennett@alaska.gov  

NEWS RELEASE: May 19 Unified Command Meeting

UNIFIED COMMAND DISCUSSES RECOVERY STEPS

SITKA, May 19, 2021  – Incident Commander, Craig Warren announced that while Public Health Nurse Denise Ewing was traveling, data entries to the CBS COVID-19 Dashboard may lag at times due to poor internet connectivity. Warren noted Municipal Administrator, John Leach had revised the CBS COVID-19 policies, which now stated that fully vaccinated employees, the public or public contractors were no longer required to wear masks while inside CBS facilities or office buildings. He reminded this excluded the Sitka Public Library and the Sitka Fire Department where masks were still required. A multi-cruise ship memorandum had been drafted for sailing arrivals in our port starting in late July through August.

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for anyone living or working in Alaska. Individuals ages 12 and up are encouraged to register for a vaccination.

The CDC and Sitka Unified Command recommend continued mitigation guidance along with getting vaccinated. To stay informed visit the CBS COVID-19 Dashboard at https://cityofsitka.org/.

Trish White, Harry Race & White’s Pharmacist, said they continue to hold Friday clinics at the Sitka Fire Hall. She noted the Johnson & Johnson one dose vaccine remained popular particularly with the fishing industry. White stated a shipment of Pfizer vaccine was expected for 12- 15-year-old children and clinics would be announced shortly. Citizens may register for a vaccination clinic at Harry Race Pharmacy at Sitka Fire Hall.

Sitka School District Superintendent, John Holst, announced the District had started to modify their masking policy within the school buildings during non-school hours. He stated masking requirements had not changed for children or when adults were working with students.

In addition, Holst said he had been working closely with Municipal Administrator, John Leach and Incident Commander, Craig Warren to create a plan for the Regions Baseball Tournament to be safely held in Sitka next week. A set of guidelines that included testing for all participants would be in place.

Finance Section Chief, Melissa Haley, announced that finance was closing out the last project with FEMA.

Thor Christianson, Logistics mentioned it was still difficult to purchase gloves.

Unified Command recommends citizens to enroll for a vaccination online with Harry Race Pharmacy at Harry Race Pharmacy at Sitka Fire Hall and with SEARHC at https://covid19.searhc.org/.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to the flu – fever, aching, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and sometimes decreased sense of taste and smell. If you are concerned you might have contracted the coronavirus contact the COVID hotline seven days a week at 966.8799 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Outside of normal clinic hours, patients can contact the SEARHC 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560 to be triaged by a registered nurse. 

The Emergency Operations Center encourages residents to prepare for any local emergency by ensuring each family member has a 14- day emergency supply kit, including any necessary medications.

For information on the local pandemic response, visit https://cityofsitka.org or https://covid19.searhc.org.

# # #

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update May 9-15, 2021

Brief Status Report

  • The statewide transmission rate and daily case rates decreased to their lowest levels since December 2020. Case rates rose sharply in the Southern Southeast region but decreased in most other regions.
  • Nearly 53% of Alaskans 16 years and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Alaska is currently the twenty-fifth most vaccinated state per capita for adults 18+. 53% of the State/IHS vaccine allocation so far has been administered.
  • 98% of all hospitalizations to date were people who are unvaccinated.
  • As of May 12, all Alaskans age 12 years and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Case Trends and Predictions

  • 458 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This was an 35.0% decrease from the week before.
  • Case rates increased significantly in the Southern Southeast region. The Northern Southeast region experienced a small increase in case rates.
  • Case rates decreased in the other 9 behavioral health regions this week.
  • The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of May 17, 2021 is -3.52% and new cases are expected to halve every 19.7 days based on current modeling.

Regional Case Trends

Behavioral Health RegionCase rates Apr 4– Apr 10Case rates Apr 11– Apr 17Case rates Apr 18– Apr 24Case rates Apr 25– May 1Case rates May 2– May 8Case rates May 9–May 15
Anchorage Municipality22.821.017.213.011.28.2
Fairbanks North Star Borough17.018.337.150.133.515.6
Interior Region except Fairbanks16.617.120.717.615.014.0
Juneau City and Borough8.19.47.47.28.87.2
Kenai Peninsula Borough15.520.119.312.49.07.8
Matanuska-Susitna Region46.948.240.628.122.414.8
Northern Southeast Region8.111.69.53.54.97.7
Northwest Region3.74.57.47.66.35.0
Southern Southeast Region6.15.811.919.932.954.2
Southwest Region10.19.35.14.33.32.5
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region20.111.612.414.67.26.9
Statewide22.322.021.819.415.311.2

Vaccines Status


Reported vaccinations as of May 17, 2021.

Regional Vaccine Trends

Borough/Census AreaVaccination Rate for Ages 16+
May 2
Vaccination Rate for Ages 16+
May 9
Vaccination Rate for Ages 16+
May 16
1+ DoseFully Vaccinated1+ DoseFully Vaccinated1+ DoseFully Vaccinated
Aleutians East Borough58.9%35.9%61.1%36.9%66.7%43.1%
Aleutians West Census Area53.9%32.5%57.4%35.5%58.1%39.1%
Anchorage Municipality53.8%47.0%55.5%48.9%56.3%49.7%
Bethel Census Area69.3%60.9%69.9%62.3%70.4%63.3%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula65.7%53.8%76.1%57.4%77.4%59.4%
Chugach-Copper River Census Area50.2%45.2%56.9%51.6%57.3%52.5%
Denali Borough53.2%48.8%55.6%50.5%56.0%51.1%
Dillingham Census Area50.6%42.0%52.8%43.9%53.1%44.3%
Fairbanks North Star Borough41.4%36.6%42.6%38.3%44.0%39.8%
Haines Borough66.3%63.1%66.2%63.1%66.6%64.2%
Juneau City and Borough70.2%62.8%71.4%66.6%72.6%68.0%
Kenai Peninsula Borough42.1%38.1%43.6%39.9%44.2%40.5%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough56.3%50.3%58.5%53.2%59.4%53.9%
Kodiak Island Borough60.7%54.5%62.3%56.0%62.7%56.9%
Kusilvak Census Area70.0%58.0%69.8%59.3%70.7%60.7%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough34.2%29.7%35.7%31.3%36.5%32.2%
Nome Census Area72.7%69.9%73.6%70.8%74.4%71.3%
North Slope Borough34.8%32.0%34.4%31.8%34.7%32.3%
Northwest Arctic Borough55.9%51.0%57.8%53.2%58.3%54.1%
Petersburg Borough73.9%68.8%75.8%70.9%76.2%71.4%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area47.6%42.3%49.2%43.5%50.1%43.6%
Sitka City and Borough69.3%63.6%70.4%64.8%71.1%65.0%
Skagway Municipality78.2%74.2%78.7%74.8%78.6%75.2%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area29.8%25.6%30.8%26.3%31.2%27.1%
Wrangell City and Borough57.0%53.0%58.5%53.8%58.7%54.8%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon71.7%65.2%71.8%65.6%72.6%66.6%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area74.6%69.4%75.2%70.5%75.6%71.0%
Statewide50.6%45.1%51.7%46.1%52.9%47.2%
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322. The call line is staffed Monday-Friday from 9AM-6:30PM and 9AM-4:30PM on weekends.

New Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths

  • During the week of May 9 through May 15, 2021, 458 cases were reported in Alaskans. This is a 35.0% decrease compared to the week prior for a total of 66,764.
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,542 with 8 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,509 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 33 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks.
  • No deaths were reported this week however fifteens death earlier weeks were reported (358 total). It is common to take more than a week for a death to be reported, and deaths that occurred during May 9-May 15 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.
  • 19 new nonresident cases were identified this week for a total of 2,786 cases.

Vaccine Breakthrough Cases

  • Vaccine breakthrough (VB) infections of COVID are those detected in a person who is more than 2 weeks beyond their second dose of a 2-dose series or the only dose of a 1-dose series. As of May 1, 2021, CDC changed reporting of VB cases to be only those associated with hospitalization or death.
  • From January 1–May 10, 2021, Alaska has recorded one death and nine hospitalizations resulting from a VB infection. These counts are provisional and subject to change as more data are compiled. In that same time frame, a total of 20,157 cases, 446 hospitalizations, and 93 deaths were reported. 98% of all hospitalizations to date were people who are unvaccinated.
  • Specimens from VB infections (regardless of severity) are prioritized for sequencing and described in the weekly Alaska Genomics Report

Variant Tracking

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange From Last WeekFirst Identified in Alaska
B.1.1.789+2720 December 2020
P.113+28 February 2021
B.1.3513020 March 2021
B.1.4273+230 March 2021
B.1.429110+424 December 2020
Variants of InterestCases IdentifiedChange From Last WeekFirst Identified in Alaska
B.1.5267+24 February 2021
B.1.5251016 March 2021
P.24027 January 2021

Health Care Capacity

  • On May 17, 21 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 3 were reported to require a mechanical ventilator.

Total Confirmed COVID-19 Beds Occupied

Cases by Week Reported and Age Group

Cases by Week Reported and Race

Cases by Week Reported and Region

Additional informational resources:

Sitka’s COVID-19 Alert Level Increases to Moderate

The COVID-19 Alert Level has shifted from Low to Moderate.

May 20, 2021

The following mitigation guidance is recommended:

•Masks/face coverings encouraged when: indoor public spaces and 6 feet of distance can’t be maintained from others
•Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet
•Outdoor events are encouraged; gatherings of more than 100 people indoors is not recommended
•Restaurants: indoor capacity reduced to maintain 6 feet of distance, delivery or carryout preferred, employees encouraged to mask
•Bars: indoor capacity reduced to 50%, encourage outdoor serving, employees encouraged to mask

Stay informed by visiting the CBS COVID-19 Dashboard at https://cityofsitka.org/.

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update May 2-8, 2021

Brief Status Report

  • The statewide transmission rate and daily case rates decreased for the third straight week and were significantly lower than last week. Case rates began decreasing in Fairbanks and continued to fall in Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna regions..
  • More than 51% of eligible Alaskans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Alaska is currently the twenty-fourth most vaccinated state per capita for adults 18+. 52% of the State/IHS vaccine allocation so far has been administered.
  • As of May 12, all Alaskans age 12 years and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. On May 10, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents 12-15 years of age. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted on May 12 to recommended the vaccine for adolescents age 12-15 years.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Case Trends and Predictions

  • 705 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This was an 20.5% decrease from the week before. Case rates began decreasing in Fairbanks and continued decreasing in seven other regions.
  • Case rates increased in Juneau, Northern Southeast, and Southern Southeast regions this week compared to the week prior.
  • The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of May 10, 2021 is -1.87% and new cases are expected to halve every 37 days based on current modeling.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Regional Case Trends

Behavioral Health RegionCase rates Mar 28– Apr 3Case rates Apr 4– Apr 10Case rates Apr 11– Apr 17Case rates Apr 18– Apr 24Case rates Apr 25– May 1Case rates May 2– May 8
Anchorage Municipality25.722.821.017.213.011.2
Fairbanks North Star Borough16.217.018.337.150.133.5
Interior Region except Fairbanks30.016.617.120.717.615.0
Juneau City and Borough5.48.19.47.47.28.8
Kenai Peninsula Borough11.815.520.119.312.49.0
Matanuska-Susitna Region49.246.948.240.628.122.4
Northern Southeast Region7.48.111.69.53.54.9
Northwest Region3.23.74.57.47.66.3
Southern Southeast Region5.46.15.811.919.932.9
Southwest Region5.110.19.35.14.33.3
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region25.920.111.612.414.67.2
Statewide23.522.322.021.819.415.3

Vaccines Status

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update
Reported vaccinations as of May 10, 2021.

Regional Vaccine Trends

Borough/Census AreaVaccination Rate for Ages 16+
April 25
Vaccination Rate for Ages 16+
May 2
Vaccination Rate for Ages 16+
May 9
1+ DoseFully Vaccinated1+ DoseFully Vaccinated1+ DoseFully Vaccinated
Aleutians East Borough56.7%34%58.9%35.9%61.1%36.9%
Aleutians West Census Area53.1%30.7%53.9%32.5%57.4%35.5%
Anchorage Municipality52.8%45.3%53.8%47.0%55.5%48.9%
Bethel Census Area68.7%60.1%69.3%60.9%69.9%62.3%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula63.7%51.8%65.7%53.8%76.1%57.4%
Chugach-Copper River Census Area49.6%44.5%50.2%45.2%56.9%51.6%
Denali Borough53.0%48.0%53.2%48.8%55.6%50.5%
Dillingham Census Area50.1%41.3%50.6%42.0%52.8%43.9%
Fairbanks North Star Borough40.1%33.9%41.4%36.6%42.6%38.3%
Haines Borough66.3%62.0%66.3%63.1%66.2%63.1%
Juneau City and Borough69.4%58.3%70.2%62.8%71.4%66.6%
Kenai Peninsula Borough41.4%36.9%42.1%38.1%43.6%39.9%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough55.5%48.4%56.3%50.3%58.5%53.2%
Kodiak Island Borough59.8%52.7%60.7%54.5%62.3%56.0%
Kusilvak Census Area69.4%56.7%70.0%58.0%69.8%59.3%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough33.6%28.8%34.2%29.7%35.7%31.3%
Nome Census Area72.1%69.3%72.7%69.9%73.6%70.8%
North Slope Borough34.2%31.0%34.8%32.0%34.4%31.8%
Northwest Arctic Borough55.7%50.5%55.9%51.0%57.8%53.2%
Petersburg Borough72.9%68.4%73.9%68.8%75.8%70.9%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area46.3%41.6%47.6%42.3%49.2%43.5%
Sitka City and Borough69.0%63.1%69.3%63.6%70.4%64.8%
Skagway Municipality78.2%74.2%78.2%74.2%78.7%74.8%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area28.4%23.9%29.8%25.6%30.8%26.3%
Wrangell City and Borough56.6%52.2%57.0%53.0%58.5%53.8%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon71.2%64.5%71.7%65.2%71.8%65.6%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area69.6%62.6%74.6%69.4%75.2%70.5%
Statewide49.2%42.4%50.6%45.1%51.7%46.1%
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322. The call line is staffed Monday-Friday from 9AM-6:30PM and 9AM-4:30PM on weekends. The call line can also be used to answer general questions about vaccine safety and to request appointments to receive a specific type of vaccine. Alaskans receiving health services through a Tribal Health Organization or the Department of Defense should contact those organizations directly to determine their eligibility.

New Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths

  • During the week of May 2 through May 8, 2021, 705 cases were reported in Alaskans. This is an 20.5% decrease compared to the week prior for a total of 66,307.
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,509 with 5 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,494 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 15 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks.
  • No deaths were reported this week however a death from an earlier week was reported (343 total). It is common to take more than a week for a death to be reported, and deaths that occurred during May 2-May 8 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.
  • 19 new nonresident cases were identified this week for a total of 2,767 cases.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Variant Tracking

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange From Last WeekFirst Identified in Alaska
B.1.1.762+3020 December 2020
P.111+28 February 2021
B.1.3513+220 March 2021
B.1.4271030 March 2021
B.1.429106+1824 December 2020
Variants of InterestCases IdentifiedChange From Last WeekFirst Identified in Alaska
B.1.5265+44 February 2021
B.1.5251016 March 2021
P.24027 January 2021

Health Care Capacity

  • On May 10, 41 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 4 were reported to require a mechanical ventilator.

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:

  • The State of Alaska COVID-19 vaccine status update page:
  • The State of Alaska COVID-19 information page provides more information about the virus and how individuals and businesses can protect themselves and others from transmission
  • For the most up-to-date case information, see the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub dashboard: updated Monday – Friday at data.coronavirus.alaska.gov

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

State of Alaska DHSS Press Release: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine authorized and recommended for use in children ages 12-15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contacts: Clinton Bennett, DHSS, 907-269-4996, clinton.bennett@alaska.gov
Public inquiries: State COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline, 907-646-3322

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine authorized and recommended for use in children ages 12-15

May 12, 2021 ANCHORAGE – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reviewed the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and today endorsed the use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15.

The CDC approval follows Monday’s emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and marks the final step in approving the Pfizer vaccine’s use for adolescents 12 years of age or older. The other two available vaccines – Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Janssen – are authorized for people age 18 or older.

Alaska providers are being notified today that use of the Pfizer vaccine may be administered to anyone in Alaska who is age 12 or older effective immediately.

“We’ve been waiting for this day and are excited to begin protecting younger Alaskans against COVID-19,” said Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer. “The authorization and approval of this vaccine for children age 12-15 will help keep our children from missing out on school, activities, camps and spending time with friends and family, which is so important for their growth and socialization.”

Several schools, including Wasilla Middle School, Susitna Valley Jr./Sr. High School in Talkeetna and schools in Ketchikan and Juneau, already have special clinics planned to offer the Pfizer vaccine for youth. Special vaccine events across the state will be advertised on the Sleeves Up for Summer webpage.

If you are making a vaccine appointment for a youth age 12 to 17, please make sure the vaccine provider is offering the Pfizer vaccine. Visit covidvax.alaska.gov to make an appointment or call the COVID-19 helpline at 907-646-3322 for assistance. Hours are 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on weekends. Language interpretation is available.

# # #

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: April 25 – May 1, 2021

Brief Status Report

  • The statewide transmission rate and daily case rates decreased slightly from last week. Case rates continued to rise in Fairbanks with decreases in most other regions. Nearly twice as many Alaskans are hospitalized and on ventilators due to COVID-19 infections this week compared to last week. 98% of all patients who have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 infections have been unvaccinated.
  • Alaska is currently the twelfth most vaccinated state per capita for adults 18+. 50% of the State/IHS vaccine allocation so far has been administered.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Case Trends and Predictions

  • 887 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This was an 18.6% decrease from the week before. Case rates increased significantly in Fairbanks with slight increases in the Southern Southeast, YK Delta, and Northwest regions.
  • Case rates decreased in all other regions this week compared to the week prior.
  • The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of May 2, 2021 is -0.67% and new cases are expected to halve every 103 days based on current modeling.

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Regional Case Trends

Behavioral Health RegionCase rates Mar 21– Mar 27Case rates Mar 28– Apr 3Case rates Apr 4– Apr 10Case rates Apr 11– Apr 17Case rates Apr 18– Apr 24Case rates Apr 25– May 1
Anchorage Municipality22.025.722.821.017.213.0
Fairbanks North Star Borough13.716.217.018.337.150.1
Interior Region except Fairbanks40.930.016.617.120.717.6
Juneau City and Borough3.85.48.19.47.47.2
Kenai Peninsula Borough6.711.815.520.119.312.4
Matanuska-Susitna Region40.949.246.948.240.628.1
Northern Southeast Region6.37.48.111.69.53.5
Northwest Region4.53.23.74.57.47.6
Southern Southeast Region4.75.46.15.811.919.9
Southwest Region5.65.110.19.35.14.3
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region26.425.920.111.612.414.6
Statewide20.123.522.322.021.819.4

Vaccines Status Update

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update
Reported vaccinations as of May 3, 2021.

Regional Vaccine Trends

Borough/Census AreaVaccination Rate for Ages 16+
April 25
Vaccination Rate for Ages 16+
May 2
1+ DoseFully Vaccinated1+ DoseFully Vaccinated
Aleutians East Borough56.7%34%58.9%35.9%
Aleutians West Census Area53.1%30.7%53.9%32.5%
Anchorage Municipality52.8%45.3%53.8%47.0%
Bethel Census Area68.7%60.1%69.3%60.9%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula63.7%51.8%65.7%53.8%
Chugach-Copper River Census Area49.6%44.5%50.2%45.2%
Denali Borough53.0%48.0%53.2%48.8%
Dillingham Census Area50.1%41.3%50.6%42.0%
Fairbanks North Star Borough40.1%33.9%41.4%36.6%
Haines Borough66.3%62.0%66.3%63.1%
Juneau City and Borough69.4%58.3%70.2%62.8%
Kenai Peninsula Borough41.4%36.9%42.1%38.1%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough55.5%48.4%56.3%50.3%
Kodiak Island Borough59.8%52.7%60.7%54.5%
Kusilvak Census Area69.4%56.7%70.0%58.0%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough33.6%28.8%34.2%29.7%
Nome Census Area72.1%69.3%72.7%69.9%
North Slope Borough34.2%31.0%34.8%32.0%
Northwest Arctic Borough55.7%50.5%55.9%51.0%
Petersburg Borough72.9%68.4%73.9%68.8%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area46.3%41.6%47.6%42.3%
Sitka City and Borough69.0%63.1%69.3%63.6%
Skagway Municipality78.2%74.2%78.2%74.2%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area28.4%23.9%29.8%25.6%
Wrangell City and Borough56.6%52.2%57.0%53.0%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon71.2%64.5%71.7%65.2%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area69.6%62.6%74.6%69.4%
Statewide49.2%42.4%50.6%45.1%
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322. The call line is staffed Monday-Friday from 9AM-6:30PM and 9AM-4:30PM on weekends. The call line can also be used to answer general questions about vaccine safety and to request appointments to receive a specific type of vaccine. Alaskans receiving health services through a Tribal Health Organization or the Department of Defense should contact those organizations directly to determine their eligibility.

New Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths

  • During the week of April 25 through May 2, 2021, 887 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is an 18.6% decrease compared to the week prior for a total of 65,609.
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,494 with 13 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,463 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 31 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks.
  • 1 death was reported this week (342 total). It is common to take more than a week for a death to be reported, and deaths that occurred during Apr 25-May 1 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.
  • 25 new nonresident cases were identified this week for a total of 2,748 cases.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Variant Tracking

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from last weekFirst Identified in Alaska
B.1.1.732+1220 December 2020
P.19+18 February 2021
B.1.3511020 March 2021
B.1.4271030 March 2021
B.1.42988+524 December 2020

Health Care Capacity

  • On May 2, 60 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 9 were reported to require a mechanical ventilator.

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:

  • The State of Alaska COVID-19 vaccine status update page:
  • The State of Alaska COVID-19 information page provides more information about the virus and how individuals and businesses can protect themselves and others from transmission
  • For the most up-to-date case information, see the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub dashboard: updated Monday – Friday at data.coronavirus.alaska.gov

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