Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
August 8 — August 14, 2021
|Intermediate Statewide transmission|
|HIGH Statewide alert status|
|Limited Hospital capacity||HIGH Test positivity |
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|
|Multiple hospitals in Anchorage were at surge capacity the weekend of August 14th and August 15th due to high volumes of both COVID and non-COVID patients.||Red->5%|
|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.|
- The number of reported COVID-19 cases in Alaska continued last week on an upwards trajectory. The true increase in cases is likely substantially larger than reflected in reported case counts, due to increasing delays in lab testing and delays in processing lab reports.
- 2,193 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is a 3.3% 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, Juneau, and Haines) and parts of rural Alaska (e.g., 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 case counts over the past 7 days as well as 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 Area||Alert Level|
|Alert Level |
|Alert Level |
|Alert Level |
|Fairbanks North Star Borough||66||67.9||102||105.0||105||108.1||123||126.6|
|Juneau City and Borough||86||270.7||76||239.2||59||185.7||122||384.0|
|Kenai Peninsula Borough||181||307.1||210||356.3||333||565.0||319||541.3|
|Nome Census Area||12||122.8*||16||163.8*||53||542.5||110||1,126.0|
|North Slope Borough||6||61.4*||8||81.9*||18||184.2*||28||286.6|
|Northwest Arctic Borough||1||**||27||356.1||29||382.4||33||435.2|
|Chugach Census Area||40||592.5||54||799.9||32||474.0||23||340.7|
|Copper River Census Area||31||1,148.6||17||629.9*||8||296.4*||3||**|
|Southeast Fairbanks Census Area||10||144.2*||14||201.8*||4||**||6||86.5*|
|Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area||1||**||6||119.0*||9||178.4*||6||119.0*|
|Sitka City and Borough||166||1,947.7||91||1,067.7||52||610.1||32||375.5|
|Wrangell City and Borough||2||**||3||**||4||**||4||**|
|Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon||1||**||1||**||0||**||0||**|
|Ketchikan Gateway Borough||11||80.4*||24||175.5||59||431.4||83||606.9|
|Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area||1||**||38||624.0||16||262.7*||23||377.7|
|Bethel Census Area||42||235.1||50||279.8||40||223.9||42||235.1|
|Kusilvak Census Area||14||173.1*||19||234.9*||19||234.9*||15||185.5*|
|Aleutians East Borough||5||**||1||**||12||410.3*||5||**|
|Aleutians West Census Area||7||126.3*||9||162.3*||1||**||3||**|
|Dillingham Census Area||4||**||4||**||14||293.3*||16||335.2*|
|Kodiak Island Borough||42||333.0||35||277.5||88||697.8||72||570.9|
|Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula||2||**||3||**||1||**||4||**|
*Rates based on <20 observations are statistically unreliable and should be used with caution.
**Rates based on <6 observations are not reported.
- 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.
- CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of an mRNA vaccine.
- 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.
- To find clinics in your area you can visit vaccines.gov or text 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 Area||August 17|
|Aleutians East Borough||88.1%|
|Aleutians West Census Area||72.5%|
|Bethel Census Area||75.5%|
|Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula||90.7%|
|Dillingham Census Area||61.1%|
|Fairbanks North Star Borough||51.1%|
|Juneau City and Borough||79.9%|
|Kenai Peninsula Borough||49.1%|
|Ketchikan Gateway Borough||68.0%|
|Kodiak Island Borough||68.4%|
|Kusilvak Census Area||79.8%|
|Nome Census Area||83.1%|
|North Slope Borough||39.0%|
|Northwest Arctic Borough||65.7%|
|Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area||68.4%|
|Sitka City and Borough||78.3%|
|Southeast Fairbanks Census Area||33.9%|
|Valdez-Cordova Census Area||63.9%|
|Wrangell City and Borough||63.3%|
|Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon||79.0%|
|Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area||80.0%|
New Hospitalizations and Deaths
- Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 59 to 1,813. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
- 14.1% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of August 17, 2021.
- On August 14, there were 116 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 19.6% increase relative to the week before when there were 97 persons hospitalized.
- The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 3 to 395. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during August 8–August 14 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.
- The most recent Alaska COVID Genomic Surveillance report was released on August 17th.
|Variants of Concern||Cases Identified||Change from Previous Report||First Identified in Alaska|
|Alpha (B.1.1.7)||450||+11||20 December 2020|
|Beta (B.1.351)||7||0||20 March 2021|
|Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)||74||+1||8 February 2021|
|Delta (B.1.617.2-like)||876||+299||30 May 2021|
|Variants of Interest||Cases Identified||Change from Previous Report||First Identified in Alaska|
|Epsilon (B.1.427/429)||140||+1||24 December 2020|
|Eta (B.1.525)||1||0||16 March 2021|
|Iota (B.1.526)||22||0||4 February 2021|
|Zeta (P.2)||4||0||27 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 14, 2021, seven deaths, 62 hospitalizations, and 2,883 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 30,791 cases, 745 hospitalizations, and 110 deaths were reported.
- 91% of all cases, 92% of all hospitalizations, and 94% of deaths among Alaska residents from January 1 through August 14, 2021 were in people who were not fully vaccinated.
- Specimens from VB infections are described in the weekly Alaska Genomics Report.
COVID-19 Communication Resources
- It’s back to school time! Please visit this DHSS campaign web page to learn more about our Back to School health and wellness campaigns.
- Request support from DHSS
- DHSS offers free presentations upon request to groups about COVID-19, the vaccines, COVID-19 prevention or other health topics upon request. Learn more or request a presentation on our Speaker’s Bureau web page.
- DHSS offers support for one-time or reoccurring COVID-19 vaccination events. Submit your request for support and provide information about the event by filling out this form.
- Share these social media posts and graphics: Delta variant | New variant in town | 3rd dose for immunocompromised | Back to school | Now What? infographic
- Back-to-School video PSAs:
- Can’t tune into a live ECHO videoconference but don’t want to miss out? The full schedule of ECHO sessions and access to COVID-19 ECHO videos and slideshows are available for download anytime on the DHSS ECHO web page.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org