COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: July 25 – July 31, 2021

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
July 25 — July 31, 2021

HIGH Statewide transmission
Rt 1.32
HIGH Statewide alert status
30.3
Limited Hospital capacityIntermediate Test positivity
6.0%
57.8%
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 31st and August 1st 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 an upwards trajectory.

  • 1,597 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is an 18% increase from the week before. This is the seventh 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 (e.g., Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area and Ketchikan Gateway Borough), most parts of the state on the road system (including Kenai Peninsula Borough, Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and Fairbanks North Star Borough), and some parts of rural Alaska (e.g., Northwest Arctic Borough).
  • The number of new reported cases declined in Sitka.
  • The Delta variant has become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in Alaska. This variant transmits more easily than other variants.

Updated COVID-19 Guidance

  • 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.
  • If you do test positive, isolate right away and notify your contacts. Ask them to get tested and, if they are unvaccinated, to quarantine.
  • Monoclonal antibody treatments are effective and reduce the risk of hospitalization. If you have COVID-19 or are a close contact, talk to a healthcare provider about whether treatment may be right for you. The treatments work best when given early.
  • CDC recommends that all persons in areas with substantial or high community transmission wear a mask when in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Most Alaskans live in an area with substantial or high community transmission as classified by the CDC.
  • Fully vaccinated persons who are close contacts to someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine but should get tested 3 to 5 days after exposure and wear a mask in public indoor areas for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.

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.
  • Starting next week, alert levels will be changed to more closely mirror CDC’s community transmission indicator and will be calculated by borough and census area, rather than by region.
Behavioral Health RegionAlert Level July 12Alert Level
July 19
Alert Level July 26Alert Level August 2
Anchorage Municipality9.417.325.631.4
Fairbanks North Star Borough1.32.46.712.4
Interior Region except Fairbanks7.719.440.353.8
Juneau City and Borough3.66.724.536.2
Kenai Peninsula Borough7.018.735.447.3
Matanuska-Susitna Region2.85.511.919.0
Northern Southeast Region13.751.199.193.5
Northwest Region3.22.67.118.4
Southern Southeast Region4.04.06.126.7
Southwest Region1.56.320.528.3
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region14.012.422.334.4
Statewide6.412.722.830.3

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 AreaAugust 2
Aleutians East Borough87.1%
Aleutians West Census Area71.2%
Anchorage Municipality61.6%
Bethel Census Area74.0%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula90.1%
Denali Borough67.5%
Dillingham Census Area60.3%
Fairbanks North Star Borough49.9%
Haines Borough71.8%
Juneau City and Borough78.6%
Kenai Peninsula Borough47.8%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough66.5%
Kodiak Island Borough66.6%
Kusilvak Census Area78.7%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough40.5%
Nome Census Area81.9%
North Slope Borough37.7%
Northwest Arctic Borough62.7%
Petersburg Borough66.1%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area67.0%
Sitka City and Borough76.7%
Skagway Municipality83.7%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area33.3%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area62.7%
Wrangell City and Borough61.8%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon77.6%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area78.9%
Statewide57.8%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 38 to 1,732. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 11.1% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of August 2, 2021.
  • On July 31st, there were 103 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 6% increase relative to the week before when there were 97 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 5 to 382. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during July 25-July 31 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.

Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied

Variant Tracking

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 31, 2021, three deaths, 40 hospitalizations, and 1,678 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 26,482 cases, 627 hospitalizations, and 94 deaths were reported.
  • 94% of all cases, 94% of all hospitalizations, and 97% of deaths among Alaska residents from January 1 through July 31, 2021 were in people who were not fully vaccinated. 
  • Specimens from VB infections are described in the weekly Alaska Genomics Report.

Communication Resources

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

Leave a Reply