COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: November 7 — November 13, 2021

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
November 7 — November 13, 2021

Intermediate Statewide transmission
Rt0.87
HIGH Statewide alert status 386.6HIGH ALERT Hospital capacityHIGH Test positivity
6.92%
60%
of Alaskans aged 5+ 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 November 13th and November 14th 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 aged 5+ and older of 680,580 from the AK Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
  • Alaska currently has the eighth highest number of cases in the last seven days per 100,000 population among the 50 states.
  • Hospital capacity has been strained during the Delta variant wave of COVID-19 such that in some hospitals, it may become difficult to care for everyone who needs care, even for non-COVID health concerns. Some care may need to be delayed, there may be long wait times, and hospital beds may not be available.  
    • Hospitalizations are continuing to occur in younger Alaskans, with the median age of persons hospitalized due to COVID-19 in 2021 being about 5 years younger than in 2020.
    • Among those hospitalized due to COVID-19 and with specimen collection dates from January 16, 2021 through November 13, 2021, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients had a median age 14 years younger than fully vaccinated patients.

  • Very high levels of COVID-19 transmission are occurring throughout much of Alaska.
  • 2,804 cases were reported in Alaskans the week of November 7–November 13. This is a 29.7% decrease from the number of cases reported the week before and indicates a downward trajectory. The course of the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult to predict, and the pattern of declining cases may not be sustained in future weeks. 
  • In the five largest boroughs (Anchorage Municipality, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, and City and Borough of Juneau), the number of new COVID-19 cases each week appears to be declining.
  • Regardless of the trajectories, high levels of community transmission are widespread and causing significant illness, death, and demand on the health care system.
  • The 7-day test positivity rate in Alaska has declined since mid-October, but it remains elevated, and testing continues to be important.
  • The intensity of COVID-19 transmission varies substantially between communities outside the largest boroughs. COVID-19 cases are regularly reported from nearly all boroughs and census areas and some communities are experiencing extremely widespread transmission. While many boroughs and census areas are seeing either declining or generally stable numbers of COVID-19 cases each week, there are areas with week-over-week increases in cases, including the City and Borough of Wrangell and Ketchikan Gateway Borough.

COVID-19 Guidance

Take action now to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and preserve health care capacity.

  • Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already and get a booster dose if you are eligible. Currently available COVID vaccines will help protect you, your family, and your community against COVID-19, including the Delta variant.
  • Wearing a mask when in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status is an important step to take to slow the spread of COVID-19. Most Alaskans live in an area with substantial or high community transmission where this action is needed to protect your health and the health of others.
  • Continue to avoid crowds and practice social distancing – particularly when indoors.
  • Seek testing if you have any symptoms or have been exposed to an infected person. If you do test positive, isolate right away, and notify your contacts. Ask them to get tested and, if they are unvaccinated, to quarantine.
  • If you test positive and you’re at increased risk for severe COVID, obtain monoclonal antibody treatment. This has been shown to be an effective treatment for reducing the risk of hospitalization. This treatment works best when given early.
  • Persons at high risk include but are not limited to persons who are elderly, immunocompromised, obese, pregnant, or have certain chronic underlying medical conditions.
  • 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
October 25
Alert Level
November 1
Alert Level
November 8
Alert Level
November 15
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality1,928667.21,635565.81,401484.8904312.8
Fairbanks North Star Borough481495.1431443.6515530.1294302.6
Juneau City and Borough145456.4124390.375236.03197.6
Kenai Peninsula Borough482817.9423717.8275466.6155263.0
Matanuska-Susitna Region760708.3820764.2694646.8537500.4
Nome Census Area1071,095.31982,026.82312,364.61701,740.2
North Slope Borough71726.675767.653542.431317.3
Northwest Arctic Borough911,200.11331,753.91141,503.41181,556.1
Chugach Census Area47696.232474.024355.517251.8*
Copper River Census Area341,259.726963.322815.123852.2
Denali Borough6332.2*3**11609.1*4**
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area39562.2881,268.642605.430432.5
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area18356.9*39773.236713.718356.9*
Haines Borough2**2**4**2**
Petersburg Borough6188.1*6188.1*491,536.5431,348.4
Sitka City and Borough24281.618211.2*782.1*670.4*
Skagway Municipality6523.1*11959.0*1**0**
Wrangell City and Borough4**8336.3*8336.3*281,177.0
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon7264.4*8302.1*7264.4*2**
Ketchikan Gateway Borough89650.734248.649358.389650.7
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area16262.7*9147.8*30492.632525.5
Bethel Census Area152850.7161901.12241,253.61881,052.2
Kusilvak Census Area60741.829358.645556.432395.6
Aleutians East Borough0**3**6205.1*2**
Aleutians West Census Area3**0**4**0**
Dillingham Census Area921,927.542879.910209.5*14293.3*
Kodiak Island Borough111880.244348.947372.735277.5
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula361,487.6271,115.713537.2*13537.2*
Statewide4,817660.94,430607.83,997548.42,818386.6

*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 ≥5 years in Alaska is now 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.
  • COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are authorized and recommended for certain persons who received the primary series of an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine ≥6 months ago. Those eligible for a booster dose include: 
    • Persons aged ≥65 years, persons aged 18+ who live in long-term care settings, persons aged 18+ who have underlying medical conditions, and persons aged 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings. Caregivers of people at increased risk for serious disease also qualify.
  • For people who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine, a booster dose (either the Janssen vaccine again or an mRNA vaccine) is recommended for anyone aged ≥18 years who was vaccinated ≥2 months ago.
  • Learn more about who should get a booster dose and to find COVID-19 vaccines near you at covidvax.alaska.gov.
  • 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 ≥5 years who received one or more doses of vaccine.

Borough/Census AreaNovember 16
Aleutians East Borough94%
Aleutians West Census Area72%
Anchorage Municipality64%
Bethel Census Area74%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula73%
Denali Borough74%
Dillingham Census Area60%
Fairbanks North Star Borough52%
Haines Borough71%
Juneau City and Borough79%
Kenai Peninsula Borough50%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough67%
Kodiak Island Borough69%
Kusilvak Census Area76%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough43%
Nome Census Area77%
North Slope Borough39%
Northwest Arctic Borough62%
Petersburg Borough67%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area66%
Sitka City and Borough79%
Skagway Municipality79%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area37%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area63%
Wrangell City and Borough63%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon78%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area78%
Statewide60%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 48 to 2,903. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 15.3% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of November 16, 2021.
  • On November 13th there were 135 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 4.7% increase relative to the week before when there were 129 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 39 to 803. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during November 7–November 13 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.

Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied

Variant Tracking

The most recent Genomic Surveillance data can be found on the “COVID-19 Variants” tab of the new Cases Dashboard.

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)4,941+14730 May 2021
 
Variants Being MonitoredCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Alpha (B.1.1.7)463020 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Epsilon (B.1.427/429)139-124 December 2020
Eta (B.1.525)1016 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)7608 February 2021
Iota (B.1.526)2404 February 2021
Mu (B.1.621)16106 May 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.
  • Alaska residents who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than those who are not fully vaccinated. (Age-standardized per capita rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status are updated monthly.)

  • The following updated VB data are among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years with a specimen collection date from January 16–November 13, 2021. (Children ages 5 to 11 are not included because at this time they have not been eligible for vaccination long enough to become fully vaccinated.)
  • From January 16–November 13, 2021, 95 deaths, 274 hospitalizations, and 22,196 cases with a VB infection were reported among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years. These counts are provisional and subject to change as data are compiled and reviewed. In that same time frame, a total of 74,916 cases, 1,747 hospitalizations, and 499 deaths were reported.
  • 70% of all cases, 84% of all hospitalizations, and 81% of deaths among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years from January 16–November 13, 2021 were in people who were not fully vaccinated. 
  • More detailed information about hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccine breakthrough infections and reinfections among Alaska residents can also be found in the monthly report, which has been updated to include data through September.
  • Age-standardized per capita rates of COVID-19 cases by vaccination status are updated weekly. Some COVID-19 cases with specimen collection in the immediate past week (indicated by the grey box) may have not yet been reported or counted.

  • The following table shows by region the number of vaccine breakthrough cases, the number of cases among persons aged ≥12 years who are not fully vaccinated, and the number of cases among children 11 years and younger. (Children 5 to 11 years old have not been eligible for vaccination long enough to be considered fully vaccinated.)
 Cases (November 7–November 13)
RegionVaccine breakthrough
(≥12 years)
Not fully vaccinated
(≥12 years old)
Not fully vaccinated
(<12 years old)
Anchorage Municipality324403165
Fairbanks North Star Borough7317044
Juneau City and Borough*10136
Kenai Peninsula Borough4310123
Matanuska-Susitna Borough9328989
Northwest Region14610270
Other Interior Region303814
Other Southeast Region – Northern274324
Other Southeast Region – Southern355822
Southwest Region371612
Y-K Delta Region867084

*Some cases from the week of November 7th to 13th were not reported to the Section of Epidemiology due to a technology error.

  • A variety of factors may affect the proportion of vaccine breakthrough cases by region. In communities with higher vaccination coverage, a larger proportion of cases is expected to occur among fully vaccinated persons. Other potential factors include the extent of prior infection in a region and differences in testing practices between regions.

COVID-19 Communication Resources

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

Cases by Week of Onset and Age

Note: Quality assurance efforts are ongoing to attribute cases to the correct date on the onset date epi curve. Some recent cases will be reattributed to different weeks.

Cases by Week of Onset and Race

Note: Quality assurance efforts are ongoing to attribute cases to the correct date on the onset date epi curve. Some recent cases will be reattributed to different weeks. Race abbreviations include AI/AN (American Indian or Alaska Native), Asian/NHOPI (Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander), and UI/Unknown (Under investigation or unknown).

Additional informational resources:

Additional ECHO session details:

These ECHO sessions are produced and facilitated by UAA’s Center for Human Development Alaska ECHO project in partnership with the State of Alaska, Department of Health & Social Services

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: October 31 — November 6, 2021

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
October 31 — November 6, 2021

Intermediate Statewide transmission
Rt0.91
HIGH Statewide alert status 548.4HIGH ALERT Hospital capacityHIGH Test positivity
7.6%
59%
of Alaskans aged 5+ 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 November 6th and November 7th 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 aged 5+ and older of 680,580 from the AK Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
  • Alaska currently has the fourth highest number of cases in the last seven days per 100,000 population among the 50 states.
  • Hospital capacity is reaching a point in Alaska where it may become difficult to care for everyone who needs care, even for non-COVID health concerns. Some care may need to be delayed, there may be long wait times, and hospital beds may not be available.  
    • Hospitalizations are continuing to occur in younger Alaskans, with the median age of persons hospitalized due to COVID-19 in 2021 being about 5 years younger than in 2020.
    • Among those hospitalized due to COVID-19 and with specimen collection dates from January 16, 2021 through November 6, 2021, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients had a median age 14 years younger than fully vaccinated patients.

  • Very high levels of COVID-19 transmission are occurring throughout much of Alaska.
  • 4,046 cases were reported in Alaskans the week of October 31–November 6. This is an 8.4% decrease from the number of cases reported the week before and indicates a downward trajectory. The course of the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult to predict, and the pattern of declining cases may not be sustained in future weeks. 
  • In the five largest boroughs (Anchorage Municipality, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, and City and Borough of Juneau), the number of new COVID-19 cases each week remains very high but appears to be declining. Regardless of the trajectories, intense community transmission is continuing to occur and is causing significant illness, death, and demand on the health care system.
  • The 7-day test positivity rate in Alaska has declined since mid-October, but it remains elevated, and testing continues to be important.
  • The intensity of COVID-19 transmission varies substantially between communities outside the largest boroughs. COVID-19 cases are regularly reported from nearly all boroughs and census areas and some communities are experiencing extremely widespread transmission. While many boroughs and census areas are seeing either declining or generally stable numbers of COVID-19 cases each week, there are areas with week-over-week increases in cases, including Nome Census Area, Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, and Petersburg Borough.

COVID-19 Guidance

Take action now to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and preserve health care capacity.

  • Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already. Currently available COVID vaccines will help protect you, your family, and your community against COVID-19, including the delta variant.
  • Wearing a mask when in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status is an important step to take to slow the spread of COVID-19. Most Alaskans live in an area with substantial or high community transmission where this action is needed to protect your health and the health of others.
  • Continue to avoid crowds and practice social distancing – particularly when indoors.
  • Seek testing if you have any symptoms or have been exposed to an infected person. If you do test positive, isolate right away, and notify your contacts. Ask them to get tested and, if they are unvaccinated, to quarantine.
  • If you test positive and you’re at increased risk for severe COVID, obtain monoclonal antibody treatment. This has been shown to be an effective treatment for reducing the risk of hospitalization. This treatment works best when given early.
  • Persons at high risk include but are not limited to persons who are elderly, immunocompromised, obese, pregnant, or have certain chronic underlying medical conditions.
  • 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
October 19
Alert Level
October 25
Alert Level
November 1
Alert Level
November 8
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality2,322803.51,928667.21,635565.81,401484.8
Fairbanks North Star Borough744765.8481495.1431443.6515530.1
Juneau City and Borough178560.2145456.4124390.375236.0
Kenai Peninsula Borough484821.3482817.9423717.8275466.6
Matanuska-Susitna Region1,2171,134.2760708.3820764.2694646.8
Nome Census Area85870.11071,095.31982,026.82312,364.6
North Slope Borough67685.771726.675767.653542.4
Northwest Arctic Borough1161,529.7911,200.11331,753.91141,503.4
Chugach Census Area55814.747696.232474.024355.5
Copper River Census Area18666.9*341,259.726963.322815.1
Denali Borough7387.6*6332.2*3**11609.1*
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area41591.039562.2881,268.642605.4
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area33654.218356.9*39773.236713.7
Haines Borough1**2**2**4**
Petersburg Borough3**6188.1*6188.1*491,536.5
Sitka City and Borough9105.6*24281.618211.2*782.1*
Skagway Municipality0**6523.1*11959.0*1**
Wrangell City and Borough1**4**8336.3*8336.3*
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon19717.5*7264.4*8302.1*7264.4*
Ketchikan Gateway Borough46336.389650.734248.649358.3
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area7114.9*16262.7*9147.8*30492.6
Bethel Census Area1901,063.4152850.7161901.12241,253.6
Kusilvak Census Area68840.860741.829358.645556.4
Aleutians East Borough0**0**3**6205.1*
Aleutians West Census Area8144.3*3**0**4**
Dillingham Census Area651,361.8921,927.542879.910209.5*
Kodiak Island Borough100793.0111880.244348.947372.7
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula281,157.0361,487.6271,115.713537.2*
Statewide5,912811.14,817660.94,430607.83,997548.4

*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 ≥5 years in Alaska is now 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.
  • Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are authorized and recommended for certain persons who received the primary series of an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine ≥6 months ago. Those eligible for a booster dose include: 
    • Persons aged ≥65 years, persons aged 18+ who live in long-term care settings, persons aged 18+ who have underlying medical conditions, and persons aged 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings. Caregivers of people at increased risk for serious disease also qualify.
  • For people who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine, booster doses are recommended for everyone aged ≥18 years who was vaccinated ≥2 months ago.
  • Learn more about who should get a booster dose and to find COVID-19 vaccines near you at covidvax.alaska.gov.
  • 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 ≥5 years who received one or more doses of vaccine.

Borough/Census AreaNovember 12
Aleutians East Borough92%
Aleutians West Census Area72%
Anchorage Municipality64%
Bethel Census Area73%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula87%
Denali Borough71%
Dillingham Census Area60%
Fairbanks North Star Borough51%
Haines Borough70%
Juneau City and Borough79%
Kenai Peninsula Borough49%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough66%
Kodiak Island Borough69%
Kusilvak Census Area74%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough42%
Nome Census Area76%
North Slope Borough39%
Northwest Arctic Borough62%
Petersburg Borough65%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area66%
Sitka City and Borough79%
Skagway Municipality78%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area37%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area63%
Wrangell City and Borough63%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon77%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area78%
Statewide59%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 77 to 2,855. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 14.4% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of November 9, 2021.
  • On November 6th there were 129 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 28.7% decrease relative to the week before when there were 181 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 62 to 764. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during October 31–November 6 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.

Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied

Variant Tracking

The most recent Genomic Surveillance data can be found on the “COVID-19 Variants” tab of the new Cases Dashboard.

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)4,794+30330 May 2021
 
Variants Being MonitoredCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Alpha (B.1.1.7)463020 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Epsilon (B.1.427/429)140024 December 2020
Eta (B.1.525)1016 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)7608 February 2021
Iota (B.1.526)2404 February 2021
Mu (B.1.621)16106 May 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.
  • Alaska residents who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than those who are not fully vaccinated. (Age-standardized per capita rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status are updated monthly.)

  • The following updated VB data are among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years with a specimen collection date from January 16–November 6, 2021. (Children ages 5 to 11 are not included because at this time they have not been eligible for vaccination long enough to become fully vaccinated.)
  • From January 16–November 6, 2021, 94 deaths, 258 hospitalizations, and 21,175 cases with a VB infection were reported among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years. These counts are provisional and subject to change as data are compiled and reviewed. In that same time frame, a total of 72,551 cases, 1,676 hospitalizations, and 488 deaths were reported.
  • 71% of all cases, 85% of all hospitalizations, and 81% of deaths among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years from January 16–November 6, 2021 were in people who were not fully vaccinated. 
  • More detailed information about hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccine breakthrough infections and reinfections among Alaska residents can also be found in the monthly report, which has been updated to include data through September.
  • Age-standardized per capita rates of COVID-19 cases by vaccination status are updated weekly. Some COVID-19 cases with specimen collection in the immediate past week (indicated by the grey box) may have not yet been reported or counted.

COVID-19 Communication Resources

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

Cases by Week of Onset and Age

Note: Quality assurance efforts are ongoing to attribute cases to the correct date on the onset date epi curve. Some recent cases will be reattributed to different weeks.

Cases by Week of Onset and Race

Additional informational resources:

Additional ECHO session details:

These ECHO sessions are produced and facilitated by UAA’s Center for Human Development Alaska ECHO project in partnership with the State of Alaska, Department of Health & Social Services

Alaska Weekly Update Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
October 31 — November 6, 2021 Intermediate Statewide transmission
Rt0.91
HIGH Statewide alert status 548.4 HIGH ALERT Hospital capacity HIGH Test positivity
7.6%
59%
of Alaskans aged 5+ 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 November 6th and November 7th 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 aged 5+ and older of 680,580 from the AK Department of Labor & Workforce Development. Case Trends Alaska currently has the fourth highest number of cases in the last seven days per 100,000 population among the 50 states. Hospital capacity is reaching a point in Alaska where it may become difficult to care for everyone who needs care, even for non-COVID health concerns. Some care may need to be delayed, there may be long wait times, and hospital beds may not be available.   Hospitalizations are continuing to occur in younger Alaskans, with the median age of persons hospitalized due to COVID-19 in 2021 being about 5 years younger than in 2020. Among those hospitalized due to COVID-19 and with specimen collection dates from January 16, 2021 through November 6, 2021, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients had a median age 14 years younger than fully vaccinated patients. Very high levels of COVID-19 transmission are occurring throughout much of Alaska. 4,046 cases were reported in Alaskans the week of October 31–November 6. This is an 8.4% decrease from the number of cases reported the week before and indicates a downward trajectory. The course of the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult to predict, and the pattern of declining cases may not be sustained in future weeks.  In the five largest boroughs (Anchorage Municipality, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, and City and Borough of Juneau), the number of new COVID-19 cases each week remains very high but appears to be declining. Regardless of the trajectories, intense community transmission is continuing to occur and is causing significant illness, death, and demand on the health care system. The 7-day test positivity rate in Alaska has declined since mid-October, but it remains elevated, and testing continues to be important. The intensity of COVID-19 transmission varies substantially between communities outside the largest boroughs. COVID-19 cases are regularly reported from nearly all boroughs and census areas and some communities are experiencing extremely widespread transmission. While many boroughs and census areas are seeing either declining or generally stable numbers of COVID-19 cases each week, there are areas with week-over-week increases in cases, including Nome Census Area, Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, and Petersburg Borough. COVID-19 Guidance Take action now to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and preserve health care capacity. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already. Currently available COVID vaccines will help protect you, your family, and your community against COVID-19, including the delta variant. Wearing a mask when in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status is an important step to take to slow the spread of COVID-19. Most Alaskans live in an area with substantial or high community transmission where this action is needed to protect your health and the health of others. Continue to avoid crowds and practice social distancing – particularly when indoors. Seek testing if you have any symptoms or have been exposed to an infected person. If you do test positive, isolate right away, and notify your contacts. Ask them to get tested and, if they are unvaccinated, to quarantine. If you test positive and you’re at increased risk for severe COVID, obtain monoclonal antibody treatment. This has been shown to be an effective treatment for reducing the risk of hospitalization. This treatment works best when given early. Persons at high risk include but are not limited to persons who are elderly, immunocompromised, obese, pregnant, or have certain chronic underlying medical conditions. 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
October 19
Alert Level
October 25
Alert Level
November 1
Alert Level
November 8
Count Rate Count Rate Count Rate Count Rate Anchorage Municipality 2,322 803.5 1,928 667.2 1,635 565.8 1,401 484.8 Fairbanks North Star Borough 744 765.8 481 495.1 431 443.6 515 530.1 Juneau City and Borough 178 560.2 145 456.4 124 390.3 75 236.0 Kenai Peninsula Borough 484 821.3 482 817.9 423 717.8 275 466.6 Matanuska-Susitna Region 1,217 1,134.2 760 708.3 820 764.2 694 646.8 Nome Census Area 85 870.1 107 1,095.3 198 2,026.8 231 2,364.6 North Slope Borough 67 685.7 71 726.6 75 767.6 53 542.4 Northwest Arctic Borough 116 1,529.7 91 1,200.1 133 1,753.9 114 1,503.4 Chugach Census Area 55 814.7 47 696.2 32 474.0 24 355.5 Copper River Census Area 18 666.9* 34 1,259.7 26 963.3 22 815.1 Denali Borough 7 387.6* 6 332.2* 3 ** 11 609.1* Southeast Fairbanks Census Area 41 591.0 39 562.2 88 1,268.6 42 605.4 Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area 33 654.2 18 356.9* 39 773.2 36 713.7 Haines Borough 1 ** 2 ** 2 ** 4 ** Petersburg Borough 3 ** 6 188.1* 6 188.1* 49 1,536.5 Sitka City and Borough 9 105.6* 24 281.6 18 211.2* 7 82.1* Skagway Municipality 0 ** 6 523.1* 11 959.0* 1 ** Wrangell City and Borough 1 ** 4 ** 8 336.3* 8 336.3* Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon 19 717.5* 7 264.4* 8 302.1* 7 264.4* Ketchikan Gateway Borough 46 336.3 89 650.7 34 248.6 49 358.3 Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area 7 114.9* 16 262.7* 9 147.8* 30 492.6 Bethel Census Area 190 1,063.4 152 850.7 161 901.1 224 1,253.6 Kusilvak Census Area 68 840.8 60 741.8 29 358.6 45 556.4 Aleutians East Borough 0 ** 0 ** 3 ** 6 205.1* Aleutians West Census Area 8 144.3* 3 ** 0 ** 4 ** Dillingham Census Area 65 1,361.8 92 1,927.5 42 879.9 10 209.5* Kodiak Island Borough 100 793.0 111 880.2 44 348.9 47 372.7 Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula 28 1,157.0 36 1,487.6 27 1,115.7 13 537.2* Statewide 5,912 811.1 4,817 660.9 4,430 607.8 3,997 548.4 *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 ≥5 years in Alaska is now 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. Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are authorized and recommended for certain persons who received the primary series of an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine ≥6 months ago. Those eligible for a booster dose include:  Persons aged ≥65 years, persons aged 18+ who live in long-term care settings, persons aged 18+ who have underlying medical conditions, and persons aged 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings. Caregivers of people at increased risk for serious disease also qualify. For people who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine, booster doses are recommended for everyone aged ≥18 years who was vaccinated ≥2 months ago. Learn more about who should get a booster dose and to find COVID-19 vaccines near you at covidvax.alaska.gov. 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 ≥5 years who received one or more doses of vaccine. Borough/Census Area November 12 Aleutians East Borough 92% Aleutians West Census Area 72% Anchorage Municipality 64% Bethel Census Area 73% Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula 87% Denali Borough 71% Dillingham Census Area 60% Fairbanks North Star Borough 51% Haines Borough 70% Juneau City and Borough 79% Kenai Peninsula Borough 49% Ketchikan Gateway Borough 66% Kodiak Island Borough 69% Kusilvak Census Area 74% Matanuska-Susitna Borough 42% Nome Census Area 76% North Slope Borough 39% Northwest Arctic Borough 62% Petersburg Borough 65% Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area 66% Sitka City and Borough 79% Skagway Municipality 78% Southeast Fairbanks Census Area 37% Valdez-Cordova Census Area 63% Wrangell City and Borough 63% Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon 77% Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area 78% Statewide 59% New Hospitalizations and Deaths Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 77 to 2,855. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported. 14.4% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of November 9, 2021. On November 6th there were 129 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 28.7% decrease relative to the week before when there were 181 persons hospitalized. The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 62 to 764. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during October 31–November 6 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed. Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied Variant Tracking The most recent Genomic Surveillance data can be found on the “COVID-19 Variants” tab of the new Cases Dashboard. Variants of Concern Cases Identified Change from Previous Report First Identified in Alaska Delta (B.1.617.2-like) 4,794 +303 30 May 2021   Variants Being Monitored Cases Identified Change from Previous Report First Identified in Alaska Alpha (B.1.1.7) 463 0 20 December 2020 Beta (B.1.351) 7 0 20 March 2021 Epsilon (B.1.427/429) 140 0 24 December 2020 Eta (B.1.525) 1 0 16 March 2021 Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2) 76 0 8 February 2021 Iota (B.1.526) 24 0 4 February 2021 Mu (B.1.621) 161 0 6 May 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. Alaska residents who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than those who are not fully vaccinated. (Age-standardized per capita rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status are updated monthly.) The following updated VB data are among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years with a specimen collection date from January 16–November 6, 2021. (Children ages 5 to 11 are not included because at this time they have not been eligible for vaccination long enough to become fully vaccinated.) From January 16–November 6, 2021, 94 deaths, 258 hospitalizations, and 21,175 cases with a VB infection were reported among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years. These counts are provisional and subject to change as data are compiled and reviewed. In that same time frame, a total of 72,551 cases, 1,676 hospitalizations, and 488 deaths were reported. 71% of all cases, 85% of all hospitalizations, and 81% of deaths among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years from January 16–November 6, 2021 were in people who were not fully vaccinated.  More detailed information about hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccine breakthrough infections and reinfections among Alaska residents can also be found in the monthly report, which has been updated to include data through September. Age-standardized per capita rates of COVID-19 cases by vaccination status are updated weekly. Some COVID-19 cases with specimen collection in the immediate past week (indicated by the grey box) may have not yet been reported or counted. COVID-19 Communication Resources New video PSAs to share: Why Not Get Vaccinated? COVID-19 Vaccines for Ages 5+ COVID-19 Boosters Delta Variant Get Your Flu Shot: Easy and Effective Immunize and Winterize Layer up, Alaska!  New Flyer: 5 Reasons to Vaccinate for Ages 5+ Revised COVID-19 Webpage: COVID-19 Prevention New social media posts to share: Stay Healthy Alaska | Who’s Got Time for the Flu? |Help Protect Our Health Care System by Getting a Flu Shot 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. Can’t tune into a live ECHO videoconference but don’t want to miss out on the latest updates? 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 Note: Quality assurance efforts are ongoing to attribute cases to the correct date on the onset date epi curve. Some recent cases will be reattributed to different weeks. Cases by Week of Onset and Race Note: Quality assurance efforts are ongoing to attribute cases to the correct date on the onset date epi curve. Some recent cases will be reattributed to different weeks. Race abbreviations include AI/AN (American Indian or Alaska Native), Asian/NHOPI (Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander), and UI/Unknown (Under investigation or unknown). Additional informational resources: The State of Alaska COVID-19 vaccine status update page 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: data.coronavirus.alaska.gov. All dashboard data are updated Monday through Friday. For DHSS media inquiries, please contact clinton.bennett@alaska.gov Additional ECHO session details: These ECHO sessions are produced and facilitated by UAA’s Center for Human Development Alaska ECHO project in partnership with the State of Alaska, Department of Health & Social Services
Session information and recordings of previous ECHO sessions
subscribe to ECHO calendar updates | email: echo@alaskachd.org | website: akecho.org Upcoming Session Highlights: Data Waivers ECHO New ECHO!
2nd Wednesdays from 12:00pm-1:00pm, November 10, 2021 – September 14, 2022
Next session: Nov. 10th
The Data Waivers ECHO facilitates a virtual network for clinical providers to learn and implement best practices for offering buprenorphine and other medically assisted treatment (MAT) services under a data waiver. Each session includes a brief lecture, de-identified case presentation for participants to receive feedback on complex cases, and open discussion facilitated by an interdisciplinary team.
Our upcoming November 10th session will include a presentation on the Rules and Regulations of Buprenorphine by Dr. Mark Simon. Alaska Perinatal ECHO
Monthly on 3rd Thursday from 6-7 p.m. Register
Next Session: November 18th
Please join us for the next Perinatal ECHO on Preventing Preterm Births in Alaska on November 18th 6:00-7:00pm! This session will feature a didactic presentation by Dr. Jodi Abbott, Maternal Fetal Medicine Physician and Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston Medical Center and Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine. This session will also include Alaska preterm birth data presented by Margaret Young, State of Alaska MCH Epidemiology Unit Manager and a case presentation by Dr. Ellie Hogenson, OB/GYN at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. As always, we will have ample time for Q&A and discussion with presenters and the hub team. Regular Series Alaska Medical Provider ECHO (formerly COVID-19 for AK Healthcare Providers)
Bi-monthly on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 7-8 pm
This ECHO aims to increase knowledge and share best practices among medical providers across Alaska as well as to increase access to information for those living in rural areas of the state. School Health ECHO
Every Monday from 3:00-4:00 p.m Register
The School Health ECHO is a virtual learning network intended for professionals in the education setting (administrators, school-based nurses, etc.) to interface with a team of medical and education experts in Alaska. Vaccine ECHO for Providers
Weekly on Tuesday from 2-3 p.m. Register
The Vaccine ECHO for providers provides planning and operation updates to vaccine providers across Alaska, while answering any questions you may have. Palliative Care ECHO
Monthly on the first Tuesday from 12-1 p.m.
This monthly ECHO is for all Alaskan healthcare disciplines supporting patients with serious illness, and aims to provide support and up-to-date information regarding Palliative Care during this period of COVID-19. Our next session will include a didactic presentation Meeting People Where They Are: Providing Palliative Care to Rural Populations by guest presenter Nancy Joiner APRN, ACHPN from the University of North Dakota’s Center for Rural Health. Public Science ECHO
Weekly on Wednesday from 12-1 p.m. register via Zoom
The Alaska Public Health Science ECHO is a virtual learning network intended for the general public to interface with our Public Health Leadership Team to explore the science of the COVID-19 virus, other public health topics, and current best practices. Or view via concurrent livestream to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/akechoprograms Local Government Public Health ECHO
Monthly on the third Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. Register
The Local Government Public Health Analysis ECHO is a virtual learning environment intended for local Alaska government leaders to interact with the State Public Health Leadership team and focuses on pandemic mitigation tools available, and how to use them. Long Term Care Facilities ECHO 
Second Wednesday of the month from 4-5 p.m. Register 
Please join other staff and administrators of Alaska’s assisted living homes and residential care facilities to gather, learn, share, and grow. COVID has disrupted the fabric of our daily life and we can always learn from each other as we adjust to the new normal. Healthcare Specific Situational Awareness ECHO
Weekly on Thursday from 12-1 p.m.  Register
The Healthcare Specific Situational ECHO is a virtual learning network intended for healthcare professionals to interface with our Public Health Leadership Team to explore current best practices and the most recent information related to Public Health. Perinatal ECHO
Monthly on 3rd Thursday from 6-7 p.m. Register
The Alaska Perinatal ECHO is a virtual learning network intended for medical providers caring for pregnant patients and their newborns. EMS ECHO
Monthly on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday 1-2 p.m Register
The EMS ECHO is a virtual learning network intended for Emergency Medical Services and related personnel in Alaska to amplify best practices. Sessions are topic-driven and typically include a guest presenter or a brief lecture with an interactive case or process discussion. Co-Occurring Behavioral Health, Opioid and Stimulant Use Disorders ECHO Returning with new didactics!
1st & 3rd Wednesdays from 12:00pm-1:00pm, November 3, 2021 – April 20, 2022
The Co-Occurring Behavioral Health (COBH), Opioid and Stimulant Use Disorders ECHO facilitates a virtual network for behavioral health providers to learn best practice care through real-time access to experienced subject matter experts and their peers. Each session includes a brief lecture, de-identified case presentation for participants to receive feedback on complex cases, and open discussion facilitated by an interdisciplinary team. Data Waivers ECHO New ECHO!
2nd Wednesdays from 12:00pm-1:00pm, November 10, 2021 – September 14, 2022
The Data Waivers ECHO facilitates a virtual network for clinical providers to learn and implement best practices for offering buprenorphine and other medically assisted treatment (MAT) services under a data waiver. Each session includes a brief lecture, de-identified case presentation for participants to receive feedback on complex cases, and open discussion facilitated by an interdisciplinary team. Session information and recordings of previous ECHO sessions
subscribe to ECHO calendar updates | email: echo@alaskachd.org | website: akecho.org

Ordinance 2021-32 Requiring the Use of a Face Covering in Certain Indoor Settings and Providing a Penalty Expires When the Risk Level Drops Below High. Sitka’s Current Alert Level is Substantial

The COVID-19 Alert Level has shifted from High to Substantial which expires Ordinance 2021-32 Requiring Use of a Face Covering in Certain Indoor Settings and Providing a Penalty. If the risk level return to high, before the ordinance permanently expires on March 22, 2022, the ordinance will reactivate. Read the ordinance in it’s entirety below.

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: October 17 – October 23, 2021

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
October 24 — October 30, 2021

Intermediate Statewide transmission
Rt0.92
HIGH Statewide alert status 607.8HIGH ALERT Hospital capacityHIGH Test positivity
8.53%
65.3%
of Alaskans aged 12+ 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 October 30th and October 31st 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.
  • Alaska currently has the highest number of cases in the last seven days per 100,000 population among the 50 states.
  • Hospital capacity is reaching a point in Alaska where it may become difficult to care for everyone who needs care, even for non-COVID health concerns. Some care may need to be delayed, there may be long wait times, and hospital beds may not be available.  
    • Hospitalizations are continuing to occur in younger Alaskans, with the median age of persons hospitalized due to COVID-19 in 2021 being about 5 years younger than in 2020.*
    • Among those hospitalized due to COVID-19 and with specimen collection dates from January 16, 2021 through October 30, 2021, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients had a median age 15 years younger than fully vaccinated patients.
  • Very high levels of COVID-19 transmission are occurring throughout much of Alaska.
    • All four of the largest boroughs (Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough, and Kenai Peninsula Borough) continue to exhibit very high levels of community transmission.
    • Rates in Juneau are quite high as well.
  • 4,425 cases were reported in Alaskans the week of October 24–October 30. This is an 11.8% decrease from the number of cases reported the week before and indicates a downward trajectory. The course of the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult to predict, and the pattern of declining cases may not be sustained in future weeks. 
  • The number of new COVID-19 cases each week appears to be declining in the three largest boroughs (Anchorage Municipality, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough). Regardless of the trajectories, intense community transmission is continuing to occur and is causing significant illness, death, and demand on the health care system.
  • The 7-day test positivity rate in Alaska has declined since mid-October, but it remains elevated, and testing continues to be important.
  • The intensity of COVID-19 transmission varies substantially between communities off the road system. COVID-19 cases are regularly reported from nearly all boroughs and census areas and some communities are experiencing extremely widespread transmission. While many boroughs and census areas are seeing either declining or generally stable numbers of COVID-19 cases each week, there are areas with week-over-week increases in cases, including Nome, Northwest Arctic, and Southeast Fairbanks Census Areas.

COVID-19 Guidance

Take action now to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and preserve health care capacity.

  • Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already. Currently available COVID vaccines will help protect you, your family, and your community against COVID-19, including the delta variant.
  • Wearing a mask when in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status is an important step to take to slow the spread of COVID-19. Most Alaskans live in an area with substantial or high community transmission where this action is needed to protect your health and the health of others.
  • Continue to avoid crowds and practice social distancing – particularly when indoors.
  • Seek testing if you have any symptoms or have been exposed to an infected person. If you do test positive, isolate right away, and notify your contacts. Ask them to get tested and, if they are unvaccinated, to quarantine.
  • If you test positive and you’re at increased risk for severe COVID, obtain monoclonal antibody treatment. This has been shown to be an effective treatment for reducing the risk of hospitalization. This treatment works best when given early.
  • Persons at high risk include but are not limited to persons who are elderly, immunocompromised, obese, pregnant, or have certain chronic underlying medical conditions.
  • 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
October 11
Alert Level
October 19
Alert Level
October 25
Alert Level
November 1
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality2,471855.12,322803.51,928667.21,635565.8
Fairbanks North Star Borough702722.5744765.8481495.1431443.6
Juneau City and Borough150472.1178560.2145456.4124390.3
Kenai Peninsula Borough6631,125.0484821.3482817.9423717.8
Matanuska-Susitna Region898836.91,2171,134.2760708.3820764.2
Nome Census Area1031,054.485870.11071,095.31982,026.8
North Slope Borough56573.167685.771726.675767.6
Northwest Arctic Borough1632,149.51161,529.7911,200.11331,753.9
Chugach Census Area59873.955814.747696.232474.0
Copper River Census Area26963.318666.9*341,259.726963.3
Denali Borough17941.3*7387.6*6332.2*3**
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area36519.041591.039562.2881,268.6
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area34674.133654.218356.9*39773.2
Haines Borough9357.1*1**2**2**
Petersburg Borough16501.7*3**6188.1*6188.1*
Sitka City and Borough23269.99105.6*24281.618211.2*
Skagway Municipality1**0**6523.1*11959.0*
Wrangell City and Borough2**1**4**8336.3*
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon471,774.919717.5*7264.4*8302.1*
Ketchikan Gateway Borough63460.646336.389650.734248.6
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area3**7114.9*16262.7*9147.8*
Bethel Census Area2381,332.01901,063.4152850.7161901.1
Kusilvak Census Area911,125.168840.860741.829358.6
Aleutians East Borough1**0**0**3**
Aleutians West Census Area4**8144.3*3**0**
Dillingham Census Area611,278.0651,361.8921,927.542879.9
Kodiak Island Borough1311,038.8100793.0111880.244348.9
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula15619.8*281,157.0361,487.6271,115.7
Statewide6,083834.55,912811.14,817660.94,430607.8

*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 ≥5 years in Alaska is now 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.
  • Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are authorized and recommended for certain persons who received the primary series of an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine ≥6 months ago. Those eligible for a booster dose include: 
    • Persons aged ≥65 years, persons aged 18+ who live in long-term care settings, persons aged 18+ who have underlying medical conditions, and persons aged 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings. Caregivers of people at increased risk for serious disease also qualify.
  • For people who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine, booster doses are recommended for everyone aged ≥18 years who was vaccinated ≥2 months ago.
  • Learn more about who should get a booster dose and to find COVID-19 vaccines near you at covidvax.alaska.gov.
  • 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 years who received one or more doses of vaccine.

Borough/Census AreaNovember 2
Aleutians East Borough90.4%
Aleutians West Census Area75.8%
Anchorage Municipality69.6%
Bethel Census Area82.1%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula94.1%
Denali Borough75.8%
Dillingham Census Area68.0%
Fairbanks North Star Borough57.5%
Haines Borough76.5%
Juneau City and Borough84.6%
Kenai Peninsula Borough54.4%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough72.8%
Kodiak Island Borough75.2%
Kusilvak Census Area85.4%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough48.2%
Nome Census Area87.1%
North Slope Borough43.3%
Northwest Arctic Borough71.1%
Petersburg Borough70.7%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area72.2%
Sitka City and Borough84.7%
Skagway Municipality88.7%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area40.9%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area69.1%
Wrangell City and Borough68.4%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon82.5%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area85.9%
Statewide65.3%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 69 to 2,778. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 18.8% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of November 2, 2021.
  • On October 30th there were 181 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 20.6% decrease relative to the week before when there were 228 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 24 to 702. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during October 24–October 30 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.

Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied

Variant Tracking

  • The most recent Genomic Surveillance data can be found on the “COVID-19 Variants” tab of the new Cases Dashboard.
Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)4,491+29230 May 2021
 
Variants Being MonitoredCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Alpha (B.1.1.7)463-120 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Epsilon (B.1.427/429)140+124 December 2020
Eta (B.1.525)1016 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)7608 February 2021
Iota (B.1.526)2404 February 2021
Mu (B.1.621)16106 May 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.
  • Alaska residents who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than those who are not fully vaccinated. (Age-standardized per capita rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status are updated monthly.)
  • The following updated VB data are among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years with a specimen collection date from January 16–October 30, 2021. 
  • From January 16–October 30, 2021, 76 deaths, 243 hospitalizations, and 19,891 cases with a VB infection were reported among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years. These counts are provisional and subject to change as data are compiled and reviewed. In that same time frame, a total of 69,500 cases, 1,603 hospitalizations, and 398 deaths were reported.
  • 71% of all cases, 85% of all hospitalizations, and 81% of deaths among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years from January 16–October 30, 2021 were in people who were not fully vaccinated. 
  • Specimens from VB infections are described in the “COVID-19 Variants” tab of the new Cases Dashboard. More detailed information about hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccine breakthrough infections and reinfections among Alaska residents can also be found in the monthly report, which has been updated to include data through September.
  • Age-standardized per capita rates of COVID-19 cases by vaccination status are updated weekly. Many COVID-19 cases with specimen collection in the immediate past week (indicated by the grey box) may have not yet been reported or counted.

COVID-19 Communication Resources

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

Cases by Week of Onset and Age

Note: Quality assurance efforts are ongoing to attribute cases to the correct date on the onset date epi curve. Some recent cases will be reattributed to different weeks.

Cases by Week of Onset and Race

Note: Quality assurance efforts are ongoing to attribute cases to the correct date on the onset date epi curve. Some recent cases will be reattributed to different weeks. Race abbreviations include AI/AN (American Indian or Alaska Native), Asian/NHOPI (Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander), and UI/Unknown (Under investigation or unknown).

*This value was corrected from an error in previous weeks’ reports.

Additional informational resources:

Additional ECHO session details:

These ECHO sessions are produced and facilitated by UAA’s Center for Human Development Alaska ECHO project in partnership with the State of Alaska, Department of Health & Social Services

Session information and recordings of previous ECHO sessions
subscribe to ECHO calendar updates | email: echo@alaskachd.org | website: akecho.org Upcoming Session Highlights: Data Waivers ECHO New ECHO!
2nd Wednesdays from 12:00pm-1:00pm, November 10, 2021 – September 14, 2022
Next session: Nov. 10th
The Data Waivers ECHO facilitates a virtual network for clinical providers to learn and implement best practices for offering buprenorphine and other medically assisted treatment (MAT) services under a data waiver. Each session includes a brief lecture, de-identified case presentation for participants to receive feedback on complex cases, and open discussion facilitated by an interdisciplinary team.
Our upcoming November 10th session will include a presentation on the Rules and Regulations of Buprenorphine by Dr. Mark Simon. Co-Occurring Behavioral Health, Opioid and Stimulant Use Disorders ECHO
1st & 3rd Wednesdays from 12:00pm-1:00pm, November 3, 2021 – April 20, 2022
Next session: Nov. 3rd
The Co-Occurring Behavioral Health (COBH), Opioid and Stimulant Use Disorders ECHO facilitates a virtual network for behavioral health providers to learn best practice care through real-time access to experienced subject matter experts and their peers. Each session includes a brief lecture, de-identified case presentation for participants Regular Series Alaska Medical Provider ECHO (formerly COVID-19 for AK Healthcare Providers)
Bi-monthly on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 7-8 pm
This ECHO aims to increase knowledge and share best practices among medical providers across Alaska as well as to increase access to information for those living in rural areas of the state. School Health ECHO
Every Monday from 3:00-4:00 p.m Register
The School Health ECHO is a virtual learning network intended for professionals in the education setting (administrators, school-based nurses, etc.) to interface with a team of medical and education experts in Alaska. Vaccine ECHO for Providers
Weekly on Tuesday from 2-3 p.m. Register
The Vaccine ECHO for providers provides planning and operation updates to vaccine providers across Alaska, while answering any questions you may have. Palliative Care ECHO
Monthly on the first Tuesday from 12-1 p.m.
This monthly ECHO is for all Alaskan healthcare disciplines supporting patients with serious illness, and aims to provide support and up-to-date information regarding Palliative Care during this period of COVID-19. Our next session will include a didactic presentation Meeting People Where They Are: Providing Palliative Care to Rural Populations by guest presenter Nancy Joiner APRN, ACHPN from the University of North Dakota’s Center for Rural Health. Public Science ECHO
Weekly on Wednesday from 12-1 p.m. register via Zoom
The Alaska Public Health Science ECHO is a virtual learning network intended for the general public to interface with our Public Health Leadership Team to explore the science of the COVID-19 virus, other public health topics, and current best practices. Or view via concurrent livestream to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/akechoprograms Local Government Public Health ECHO
Monthly on the third Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. Register
The Local Government Public Health Analysis ECHO is a virtual learning environment intended for local Alaska government leaders to interact with the State Public Health Leadership team and focuses on pandemic mitigation tools available, and how to use them. Long Term Care Facilities ECHO 
Second Wednesday of the month from 4-5 p.m. Register 
Please join other staff and administrators of Alaska’s assisted living homes and residential care facilities to gather, learn, share, and grow. COVID has disrupted the fabric of our daily life and we can always learn from each other as we adjust to the new normal. Healthcare Specific Situational Awareness ECHO
Weekly on Thursday from 12-1 p.m.  Register
The Healthcare Specific Situational ECHO is a virtual learning network intended for healthcare professionals to interface with our Public Health Leadership Team to explore current best practices and the most recent information related to Public Health. Perinatal ECHO
Monthly on 3rd Thursday from 6-7 p.m. Register
The Alaska Perinatal ECHO is a virtual learning network intended for medical providers caring for pregnant patients and their newborns. EMS ECHO
Monthly on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday 1-2 p.m Register
The EMS ECHO is a virtual learning network intended for Emergency Medical Services and related personnel in Alaska to amplify best practices. Sessions are topic-driven and typically include a guest presenter or a brief lecture with an interactive case or process discussion. Co-Occurring Behavioral Health, Opioid and Stimulant Use Disorders ECHO Returning with new didactics!
1st & 3rd Wednesdays from 12:00pm-1:00pm, November 3, 2021 – April 20, 2022
The Co-Occurring Behavioral Health (COBH), Opioid and Stimulant Use Disorders ECHO facilitates a virtual network for behavioral health providers to learn best practice care through real-time access to experienced subject matter experts and their peers. Each session includes a brief lecture, de-identified case presentation for participants to receive feedback on complex cases, and open discussion facilitated by an interdisciplinary team. Data Waivers ECHO New ECHO!
2nd Wednesdays from 12:00pm-1:00pm, November 10, 2021 – September 14, 2022
The Data Waivers ECHO facilitates a virtual network for clinical providers to learn and implement best practices for offering buprenorphine and other medically assisted treatment (MAT) services under a data waiver. Each session includes a brief lecture, de-identified case presentation for participants to receive feedback on complex cases, and open discussion facilitated by an interdisciplinary team. Session information and recordings of previous ECHO sessions
subscribe to ECHO calendar updates | email: echo@alaskachd.org | website: akecho.org

NEWS RELEASE: November 3 Unified Command Meeting

UNIFIED COMMAND GIVES RECOMMENDATIONS AND UPDATES ON VACCINES

SITKA, November 3, 2021 – Incident Commander Craig Warren reported no current projects, Unified Command was and would continue to meet every few weeks in order to continue to keep member’s listed positions so that if issues were to arise, a meeting could come together quickly. He said we have been close to getting out of the high alert level and then we get a flare up. He encouraged residents to pay attention to their surroundings and that we were not through this. He relayed the rest of the country especially in the southeast was able to get below high and he would really like us to come together, think about the crowd around you, and maybe we could come through this. He thanked Mt. Edgecumbe High School for their polite, respectful students that were diligently wearing their masks.

Shoshauna Schmidt filling in for Dr. Bruhl, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Chief Medical Officer and Incident Commander reported one COVID-19 positive patient at the hospital. She stated SEARHC was prepared to administer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations for youth ages 5 to 11. She said vaccines would be available by appointment and a parent or care giver must accompany the child and noted that flu vaccines were available. She told of preregistration at https://covid19.searhc.org/ and of ongoing clinics at Harrigan Centennial Hall along with upcoming on Wednesday, November 10, and a children’s clinic on Tuesday, November 9 from Noon to 6:00 p.m.

Planning Section Chief Rob Janik reported monitoring and maintaining.

Thor Christianson, Logistics reported no problem getting PPE and had ordered gloves for the Police Department with no issues.

Public Information Officer Melissa Henshaw reported few calls with complaints on those not following the mask ordinance and continued social media posts.

Janelle Vanasse, Superintendent of Mt. Edgecumbe High School (MEHS) reported zero positive cases in the last two screenings at MEHS. She said over the last month only one individual was identified as a positive case which had zero spread. She felt that they were getting settled in with campus COVID-19 control. She relayed the students were feeling cooped up and that the students get excited when the level were close to dropping, but then there were spikes. She stated the COVID team was looking at their plan and despite the community alert level, they were identifying activities for students to interact in town to get off campus with additional mitigation. She said that some students would be in town on selected days, and they would start allowing students to go to the grocery store and specific activities that were supervised with strong mitigations in place. She was hoping to get down to significant alert level as a community, which would allow the students off campus more, but that in the meantime the community could expect to see students with specific activities on specific days.

Sitka School District (SSD) Superintendent Frank Hauser reported a week with zero COVID-19 positive cases associated with SSD buildings and that the district was into their second quarter of full-time in person learning. He thanked Dr. Bruhl for the successful mitigation plans and for the continued support of the schools. He thanked the parents for the kind words on the progress of the school year thus far with one mom who wrote that the SSD mitigations allowed her to feel good about saying yes to all activities in the school that her student wanted to participate in. He relayed mitigations with high levels of COVID-19 in our community, helped allowed students to do things they wanted to do, most important among those things was staying in school. He stated many parents were excited about the vaccine news this week which was now available to anyone 5 years and older. He reiterated that SSD does not require COVID-19 vaccinations. He read from Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, “We can think of all the protective measures as layers. Just like you wear layers when its cold outside, the colder it is the more you have to wear to stay warm. If there is a lot of virus in the community, the risk is high and we need a lot of layers of protection. If the level of virus is low, we need fewer layers. The vaccine is the best layer we have.” He said they would continue to monitor the situation in the community and would continue working with Dr. Bruhl and Public Health. They would adjust their layers accordingly with expected new guidance from CDC perhaps as early as December.

Trish White, Harry Race Pharmacist reported pediatric doses coming in. She said there would be a special clinic for children next Friday, November 12 available by appointment and she told they were looking into having a weekend clinic for children. She said they would be holding COVID-19 booster shots along with the flu vaccine on Fridays and reported last Friday they administered 10 first dose shots. The public may sign up at http://www.sitkapharmacies.com.

Due to the High Alert Level in Sitka, Sitka Unified Command recommends continued mitigation: face coverings are strongly encouraged for individuals regardless of vaccination status, maintaining physical distance of 6 feet along with following CDC guidelines CDC Guidelines.

We urge citizens to remain diligent and practice proper hygiene measures, such as washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with others. In addition, get tested but stay home if you feel ill, wear a face covering when around others, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to the flu – fever, aching, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and sometimes decreased sense of taste and smell. If you are concerned you might have contracted the coronavirus contact the COVID hotline at 966.8799. Outside of normal clinic hours, patients can contact the SEARHC 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560 to be triaged by a registered nurse. 

The Sitka Emergency Unified Command continues to urge citizens to enroll for a vaccination online with Harry Race Pharmacy at Harry Race Pharmacy and with SEARHC at https://covid19.searhc.org/. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated to be safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus. Being vaccinated is the best way to protect our community.

The Emergency Operations Center encourages residents to prepare for any local emergency by ensuring each family member has a 14- day emergency supply kit, including any necessary medications.

For information on the local pandemic response, visit https://cityofsitka.org or https://covid19.searhc.org.

# # #