COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: August 1 – August 7, 2021

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
August 1 — August 7, 2021

HIGH Statewide transmission
Rt 1.23
HIGH Statewide alert status
286.2
Limited Hospital capacityIntermediate Test positivity
7.0%
58.6%
Alaskans 12 years and older are vaccinated
Red- Rt >1.2
Orange- Rt 1-1.2 Yellow- Rt <1
7-day case rate per 100,000 population. Red-  ≥100
Orange- 50-99.99
Yellow- 10-49.99
Blue- 0-9.99  
Multiple hospitals in Anchorage were at surge capacity the weekend of August 7th and August 8th 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.

  • 2,124 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is an 33% increase from the week before.
  • Cases remain high or are increasing in most parts of the state on the road system (including Kenai Peninsula Borough, Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and Fairbanks North Star Borough).
  • Increases in cases were widely distributed across the state, with increases in parts of Southeast Alaska (e.g., Ketchikan Gateway Borough) and parts of rural Alaska (e.g., Kodiak Island Borough and Nome Census Area).
  • 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.

Borough/Census Area Alert Level Trends

  • Alert levels are based on the daily number of reported cases over the past 7 days per 100,000 population.
  • Alert levels have been changed to more closely mirror CDC’s community transmission indicator and are calculated by borough and census area, rather than by region.
Borough/Census AreaAlert Level
July 19
Alert Level July 26Alert Level August 2Alert Level August 9
Anchorage Municipality171.0188.3251.6309.4
Fairbanks North Star Borough25.767.9105.0108.1
Juneau City and Borough69.2270.7239.2185.7
Kenai Peninsula Borough188.3307.1356.3565.0
Matanuska-Susitna Region56.8110.9154.7207.8
Nome Census Area**122.8*163.8*542.5
North Slope Borough**61.4*81.9*184.2*
Northwest Arctic Borough****356.1382.4
Chugach Census Area622.1592.5799.9474.0
Copper River Census Area**1,148.6629.9*296.4*
Denali Borough******387.6*
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area**144.2*201.8***
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area****119.0*178.4*
Haines Borough********
Petersburg Borough250.9*******
Sitka City and Borough1,208.51,947.71,067.7610.1
Skagway Municipality********
Wrangell City and Borough********
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon********
Ketchikan Gateway Borough**80.4*175.5431.4
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area****624.0262.7*
Bethel Census Area39.2*235.1279.8223.9
Kusilvak Census Area222.6*173.1*234.9*234.9*
Aleutians East Borough******410.3*
Aleutians West Census Area**126.3*162.3***
Dillingham Census Area******293.3*
Kodiak Island Borough95.2*333.0277.5697.8
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula********
Statewide128.7191.4233.9286.2

*Rates based on <20 observations are statistically unreliable and should be used with caution.
**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. Scientific studies have shown that 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 additional 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.

Borough/Census Area Vaccination Coverage

  • This is the percent of Alaskans aged 12+ who received one or more doses of vaccine.
Borough/Census AreaAugust 10
Aleutians East Borough87.1%
Aleutians West Census Area71.5%
Anchorage Municipality62.6%
Bethel Census Area75.0%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula90.6%
Denali Borough68.0%
Dillingham Census Area60.9%
Fairbanks North Star Borough50.5%
Haines Borough72.4%
Juneau City and Borough79.3%
Kenai Peninsula Borough48.5%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough67.5%
Kodiak Island Borough67.6%
Kusilvak Census Area79.4%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough41.2%
Nome Census Area82.7%
North Slope Borough38.5%
Northwest Arctic Borough64.8%
Petersburg Borough65.8%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area67.9%
Sitka City and Borough77.5%
Skagway Municipality83.7%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area33.7%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area63.4%
Wrangell City and Borough62.2%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon78.4%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area79.4%
Statewide58.6%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 22 to 1,754. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 12.3% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of August 10, 2021.
  • On August 7, there were 97 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 6% decrease relative to the week before when there were 103 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 10 to 392. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during August 1–August 7 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.

Variant Tracking

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Alpha (B.1.1.7)439+320 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)7308 February 2021
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)577+14830 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)2204 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–August 7, 2021, four deaths, 41 hospitalizations, and 2,314 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 28,596 cases, 641 hospitalizations, and 101 deaths were reported.
  • 92% of all cases, 94% of all hospitalizations, and 96% of deaths among Alaska residents from January 1 through August 7, 2021 were in people who were not fully vaccinated. 
  • Specimens from VB infections are described in the weekly Alaska Genomics Report.

New COVID-19 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

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