COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: July 18 – July 24, 2021

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
July 18 — July 24, 2021

HIGH Statewide transmission
Rt 1.42
HIGH Statewide alert status
22.8
Limited Hospital capacityIntermediate Test positivity
5.2%
57.2%
Alaskans 12 years and older are vaccinated
Red- Rt >1.2
Orange- Rt 1-1.2 Yellow- Rt <1
14-day average cases reported per 100,000 population Red>10
Orange- 5-10
Yellow- <5
Multiple hospitals in Anchorage were at surge capacity the weekend of July 24th and 25th due to high volumes of both COVID and non-COVID patients.Red->5%
Orange- 2-5%
Yellow- <2%
This includes people with at least one dose. Estimated AK population 12 and older of 607,022 from the AK Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Case Trends

  • The number of COVID-19 cases in Alaska continued last week on a clear upwards trajectory.

  • 1,358 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is a 55% increase from the week before. This is the sixth week in a row of week-over-week increases.
  • Increases in cases were widely distributed across the state, with increases in multiple parts of Southeast Alaska (especially Sitka and Juneau), nearly all parts of the state on the road system (including Kenai Peninsula Borough, Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough, and the Copper River Census Area), and some parts of rural Alaska (e.g., Bethel Census Area and Kodiak Island Borough).
  • The Delta variant has become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in Alaska. This variant transmits more easily than other variants.
  • Currently available COVID vaccines will help protect you, your family, and your community against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Getting vaccinated now is more important than ever. Avoid crowds and delay travel until you are fully vaccinated.
  • All regions of Alaska are now at the “orange” or “red” Alert Level. All persons, including fully vaccinated persons, should wear a mask when in indoor public spaces.

Regional Alert Level Trends

  • Alert levels are based on the daily average number of reported cases over the past 14 days per 100,000 population.
Behavioral Health RegionAlert Level July 7Alert Level July 12Alert Level
July 19
Alert Level July 26
Anchorage Municipality7.69.417.325.6
Fairbanks North Star Borough0.81.32.46.7
Interior Region except Fairbanks3.17.719.440.3
Juneau City and Borough3.13.66.724.5
Kenai Peninsula Borough3.57.018.735.4
Matanuska-Susitna Region3.12.85.511.9
Northern Southeast Region5.613.751.199.1
Northwest Region6.63.22.67.1
Southern Southeast Region2.94.04.06.1
Southwest Region**1.56.320.5
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region17.614.012.422.3
Statewide5.26.412.722.8

** Rates based on <6 observations are not reported

Vaccination Status

  • Anyone aged 12+ in Alaska is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you have received an initial dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to get your second dose too. Evidence suggests two doses of an mRNA vaccine are more effective than one dose of an mRNA vaccine, especially against emerging variants of concern.
  • Vaccinated persons with immunocompromising conditions should discuss with their health care providers the need for personal protective measures.
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322.
  • You can also visit vaccines.gov or find clinics in your area by texting your zip code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish.
  • The Alaska vaccine dashboard is available online for the most up-to-date data.

Regional Vaccine Coverage:

This is the percent of Alaskans aged 12+ who received one or more dose of vaccine.

Borough/Census AreaJuly 27
Aleutians East Borough86.8%
Aleutians West Census Area70.9%
Anchorage Municipality70.0%
Bethel Census Area73.5%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula89.5%
Denali Borough66.8%
Dillingham Census Area60.0%
Fairbanks North Star Borough49.4%
Haines Borough69.9%
Juneau City and Borough78.1%
Kenai Peninsula Borough47.2%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough66.2%
Kodiak Island Borough65.8%
Kusilvak Census Area78.2%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough39.9%
Nome Census Area81.3%
North Slope Borough37.4%
Northwest Arctic Borough62.2%
Petersburg Borough65.1%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area66.8%
Sitka City and Borough75.8%
Skagway Municipality82.5%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area32.9%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area61.9%
Wrangell City and Borough61.6%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon77.3%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area78.1%
Statewide57.2%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 27 to 1,694. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 8.9% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of July 27, 2021.
  • On July 24, 2021, there were 97 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 64% increase relative to the week before when there were 59 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 3 to 377. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during July 18-July 24 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.

Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied

Variant Tracking

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Alpha (B.1.1.7)416+520 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)71+18 February 2021
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)251+13730 May 2021
 
Variants of InterestCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Epsilon (B.1.427/429)139024 December 2020
Eta (B.1.525)1016 March 2021
Iota (B.1.526)3004 February 2021
Zeta (P.2)4027 January 2021

Vaccine Breakthrough Cases

  • Vaccine breakthrough (VB) infections of COVID-19 are those detected in a person who is at least 2 weeks beyond their second dose of a 2-dose series or the only dose of a 1-dose series.
  • From January 1–July 24, 2021, three deaths, 37 hospitalizations, and 1,324 cases with a VB infection were reported among Alaska residents. These counts are provisional and subject to change as more data are compiled. In that same time frame, a total of 22,886 cases, 589 hospitalizations, and 89 deaths were reported.
  • 94% of all cases, 94% of all hospitalizations, and 97% of all deaths to date were in people who were not fully vaccinated. 
  • Specimens from VB infections are described in the weekly Alaska Genomics Report.

Statewide Percentage of Daily Tests with Positive Results
(Seven day rolling average)

Cases by Week of Onset and Age

Cases by Week of Onset and Race

Additional informational resources:

  • 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

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