Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update May 23-29, 2021

Decreasing Statewide transmission
Rt 0.76
Intermediate Statewide alert status
Adequate Hospital capacityLow Test positivity
Alaskan 16 years and older 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 16 and older of 569,699 from (American Community Survey 2019)

Brief Status Report

  • The statewide average daily case rate continued decreasing. The current 14-day average case rate per 100,000 people is similar to levels last seen in July 2020.
  • Since January 1, 2021, >98% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alaska have been among people who were unvaccinated.
  • 52% of Alaskans aged 12 years and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Alaska is currently the twenty-eighth 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 is able to get a dose of vaccine free of charge at the airport

Case Trends and Predictions

  • 261 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is a 32% decrease from the week before.
  • Case rates continued to increase in the Interior region while rates decreased from last week in the Southern Southeast region.
  • Case rates decreased in 7 of the 11 behavioral health regions this week. Two regions saw minimal increases in case rates but still have <5 cases per 100,000 population.
  • The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of June 1 is -4.3% and new cases are expected to halve every 16 days based on current modeling.

Regional Case Trends

Behavioral Health RegionCase rates
Apr 25– May 1
Case rates
May 2– May 8
May 9–May 15
May 16–May 22
May 23–
May 29
Anchorage Municipality13.
Fairbanks North Star Borough50.133.515.68.36.0
Interior Region except Fairbanks17.615.014.019.425.9
Juneau City and Borough7.
Kenai Peninsula Borough12.
Matanuska-Susitna Region28.122.414.88.75.9
Northern Southeast Region3.
Northwest Region7.
Southern Southeast Region19.932.954.258.236.9
Southwest Region4.
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region14.

Vaccination Status

Reported vaccinations as of June 1, 2021.

Regional Vaccine Trends:

  • For May 9-May 24, the Percent of Alaskans aged 16+ who have received one or more dose of vaccine
  • For June 1, the percent of Alaskans aged 12+ who have received one or more dose of vaccine. This percentage may be lower than previous weeks since the number of persons eligible for the vaccine increased since those 12+ are now eligible.
Borough/Census AreaAs of May 9As of May 16As of May 24As of June 1
Aleutians East Borough61.1%66.7%77.7%81.7%
Aleutians West Census Area57.4%58.1%63.1%63.7%
Anchorage Municipality55.5%56.3%57.3%55.9%
Bethel Census Area69.9%70.4%71.4%67.7%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula76.1%77.4%78.1%76.5%
Denali Borough55.6%56.0%58.8%60.5%
Dillingham Census Area52.8%53.1%53.8%56.2%
Fairbanks North Star Borough42.6%44.0%45.2%44.4%
Haines Borough66.2%66.6%67.2%66.3%
Juneau City and Borough71.4%72.6%74.0%72.8%
Kenai Peninsula Borough43.6%44.2%45.0%43.6%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough58.5%59.4%61.2%59.5%
Kodiak Island Borough62.3%62.7%63.7%61.8%
Kusilvak Census Area69.8%70.7%72.2%67.4%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough35.7%36.5%37.3%35.6%
Nome Census Area73.6%74.4%76.1%75.7%
North Slope Borough34.4%34.7%35.3%34.5%
Northwest Arctic Borough57.8%58.3%59.4%56.7%
Petersburg Borough75.8%76.2%77.0%62.1%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area49.2%50.1%51.8%59.3%
Sitka City and Borough70.4%71.1%72.1%70.0%
Skagway Municipality78.7%78.7%79.2%78.3%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area30.8%31.2%31.6%29.9%
Wrangell City and Borough58.5%58.7%58.9%57.9%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon71.8%72.6%73.7%73.3%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area75.2%75.6%76.1%71.9%
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit 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 23 through May 29, 2021, 261 cases were reported in Alaskans. This is a 32% decrease compared to the week prior, for a total of 67,458 cases.
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,561 with 3 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,553 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 8 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks.
  • No deaths were reported this week (362 total). It is common to take more than a week for a death to be reported, and deaths that occurred during May 23-May 29 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.
  • 12 new nonresident cases were identified this week for a total of 2,812 cases.

Vaccine Breakthrough Cases

  • No new vaccine breakthrough cases were reported during May 23-May 29.
  • 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 24, 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 20,997 cases, 470 hospitalizations, and 98 deaths were reported. 98.1% 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
Alpha (B.1.1.7)179+3820 December 2020
Gamma (P.1)22+68 February 2021
Beta (B.1.351)5+120 March 2021
Epsilon (B.1.427)7+230 March 2021
Epsilon (B.1.429)118+424 December 2020
Variants of InterestCases IdentifiedChange From Last WeekFirst Identified in Alaska
Iota (B.1.526)16+44 February 2021
Eta (B.1.525)1016 March 2021
Zeta (P.2)4027 January 2021

Health Care Capacity

  • On June 1, 21 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 6 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: