COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: August 8 – August 14, 2021

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
August 8 — August 14, 2021

Intermediate Statewide transmission
Rt 1.12
HIGH Statewide alert status
313.5
Limited Hospital capacityHIGH Test positivity
6.8%
59.3%
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 14th and August 15th 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 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 AreaAlert Level
July 26
Alert Level
August 2
Alert Level
August 9
Alert Level
August 16
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality544188.3727251.6894309.4924319.8
Fairbanks North Star Borough6667.9102105.0105108.1123126.6
Juneau City and Borough86270.776239.259185.7122384.0
Kenai Peninsula Borough181307.1210356.3333565.0319541.3
Matanuska-Susitna Region119110.9166154.7223207.8233217.1
Nome Census Area12122.8*16163.8*53542.51101,126.0
North Slope Borough661.4*881.9*18184.2*28286.6
Northwest Arctic Borough1**27356.129382.433435.2
Chugach Census Area40592.554799.932474.023340.7
Copper River Census Area311,148.617629.9*8296.4*3**
Denali Borough1**1**7387.6*4**
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area10144.2*14201.8*4**686.5*
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area1**6119.0*9178.4*6119.0*
Haines Borough0**0**1**441,746.0
Petersburg Borough0**0**2**0**
Sitka City and Borough1661,947.7911,067.752610.132375.5
Skagway Municipality0**3**2**4**
Wrangell City and Borough2**3**4**4**
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon1**1**0**0**
Ketchikan Gateway Borough1180.4*24175.559431.483606.9
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area1**38624.016262.7*23377.7
Bethel Census Area42235.150279.840223.942235.1
Kusilvak Census Area14173.1*19234.9*19234.9*15185.5*
Aleutians East Borough5**1**12410.3*5**
Aleutians West Census Area7126.3*9162.3*1**3**
Dillingham Census Area4**4**14293.3*16335.2*
Kodiak Island Borough42333.035277.588697.872570.9
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula2**3**1**4**
Statewide1,395191.41,705233.92,086286.22,285313.5

*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.
  • 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 AreaAugust 17
Aleutians East Borough88.1%
Aleutians West Census Area72.5%
Anchorage Municipality63.2%
Bethel Census Area75.5%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula90.7%
Denali Borough68.8%
Dillingham Census Area61.1%
Fairbanks North Star Borough51.1%
Haines Borough72.7%
Juneau City and Borough79.9%
Kenai Peninsula Borough49.1%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough68.0%
Kodiak Island Borough68.4%
Kusilvak Census Area79.8%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough41.7%
Nome Census Area83.1%
North Slope Borough39.0%
Northwest Arctic Borough65.7%
Petersburg Borough66.2%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area68.4%
Sitka City and Borough78.3%
Skagway Municipality83.9%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area33.9%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area63.9%
Wrangell City and Borough63.3%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon79.0%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area80.0%
Statewide59.3%

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.

Variant Tracking

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Alpha (B.1.1.7)450+1120 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)74+18 February 2021
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)876+29930 May 2021
 
Variants of InterestCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Epsilon (B.1.427/429)140+124 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 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

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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