COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: January 9 – January 15, 2022

COVID and Flu Weekly Report

Alaska Department of Health and Social Service Weekly COVID-19 and Influenza Update
January 9 – January 15, 2022

Key Findings

  • COVID-19 cases are rising very rapidly across most of Alaska, the great majority of which are likely due to the Omicron variant.
  • Appreciable levels of influenza transmission began occurring in mid-December and have continued since then.
  • Other respiratory viruses are circulating in addition to SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus.

COVID-19

  • High levels of COVID-19 transmission are occurring throughout much of Alaska and the pandemic is on a rapid upward trajectory in Alaska. Hospitalizations are increasing as well.
  • 15,145 cases were reported in Alaskans the week of January 9–January 15. This is a 97.4% increase from the number of cases reported the week before. This increase in cases is the largest week-over-week increase recorded in Alaska in terms of the absolute number of cases and is also among the largest in terms of the proportional increase.  
  • The number of reported COVID-19 cases last week was substantially higher in all 5 of the most populous boroughs compared to the previous week.
  • The intensity of COVID-19 transmission varies between communities outside the largest boroughs, but many boroughs and census areas have seen recent and large increases in COVID-19 cases, and some have reached levels of weekly case counts not previously seen in the pandemic.
  • Community transmission of the Omicron variant has been confirmed in multiple regions across Alaska. Laboratory evidence indicates that the Omicron variant has become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in Alaska and is driving the sharp acceleration of the pandemic in Alaska. Visit Alaska’s SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Dashboard to learn more.  
  • To learn more about COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19 in Alaska, visit the Cases Dashboard or the monthly report. The cases dashboard includes demographic information on cases and the monthly report includes demographic information on hospitalizations and deaths.

COVID-19 cases among Alaska residents by week of onset date.

Borough/Census AreaAlert Level
December 27
Alert Level
January 3
Alert Level
January 10
Alert Level
January 19
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality393136.02,180754.44,7091,629.68,3302,882.7
Fairbanks North Star Borough125128.7224230.5753775.01,5591,604.6
Juneau City and Borough73229.8259815.25311,671.27422,335.3
Kenai Peninsula Borough78132.4100169.7266451.47261,231.9
Matanuska-Susitna Region10799.7439409.1391364.41,3051,216.2
Nome Census Area19194.5*25255.91651,689.02792,856.0
North Slope Borough661.4*35358.276777.81031,054.1
Northwest Arctic Borough15197.8*44580.2861,134.11912,518.8
Chugach Census Area2**9133.3*33488.859873.9
Copper River Census Area6222.3*7259.4*13481.7*281,037.4
Denali Borough1**4**1**12664.5*
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area7100.9*18259.5*21302.747677.5
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area1**23456.0761,506.729574.9
Haines Borough0**321,269.8381,507.9361,428.6
Petersburg Borough6188.1*5**6188.1*15470.4*
Sitka City and Borough29340.372844.81601,877.31541,806.9
Skagway Municipality1**2**1**2**
Wrangell City and Borough1**2**271,134.9552,311.9
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon9339.9*6226.6*19717.5*341,284.0
Ketchikan Gateway Borough52380.250365.672526.42171,586.6
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area7114.9*5**971,592.8821,346.5
Bethel Census Area18100.7*40223.9120671.63071,718.2
Kusilvak Census Area35432.717210.2*971,199.32072,559.3
Aleutians East Borough1**2**10341.9*27923.1
Aleutians West Census Area4**12216.5*721,298.72043,679.7
Dillingham Census Area7146.7*14293.3*26544.7641,340.9
Kodiak Island Borough13103.1*57452.03412,704.04443,520.7
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula4**6247.9*17702.5*341,405.0
Statewide1,020139.93,689506.18,2251,128.415,3052,099.7

Alert levels by borough and census area are based on the number of reported cases over the past 7 days per 100,000 residents.
*Rates based on <20 observations are statistically unreliable and should be used with caution.
**Rates based on <6 observations are not reported.

COVID-19 and Hospital Capacity

  • Hospital capacity is currently very limited because of staff being out with COVID-19 and because of high numbers of patients.
  • The Crisis Care Committee remains active seeking input from, and providing guidance to, health care providers, including allocating, augmenting, or moving constrained resources during this surge to maximize the health of all Alaskans.
  • As of January 19, 2022 there were 100 persons with COVID-19 in Alaska hospitals, accounting for 10.3% of all hospitalized persons. Visit the Hospital Dashboard for more data.

Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied

COVID-19 and Vaccination

  • 68.6% of Alaska residents aged ≥5 years have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Among those who completed the primary vaccine series, 45.2% of Alaska residents ≥18 years have received their booster. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination coverage in Alaska on the Vaccine Dashboard.
  • Vaccines help protect against infection and against severe disease, especially when a person is up to date on vaccinations. Unvaccinated Alaskans are more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than Alaskans who have completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccination and are more than 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19. See the monthly report to learn more.
  • Among Alaska residents aged ≥5 years from January 16, 2021–January 15, 2022, 40,937 cases were documented in persons who had completed the primary series and were considered fully vaccinated. Among those vaccine-breakthrough cases, 386 hospitalizations and 133 deaths due to COVID-19 have been recorded. During that time, 76,460 cases have been documented in unvaccinated Alaskans aged ≥5 years, leading to 1,677 hospitalizations and 546 deaths. All data are preliminary and subject to change.
  • During the Omicron wave, cases in vaccinated persons have become more frequent, but Alaskans who are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines (i.e., completed the primary series and received a booster dose, if eligible) still have lower rates of becoming a case than those who are unvaccinated or are not up-to-date.

In order to more easily identify changes over time, the definition of “up-to-date” as of January 8, 2022 was applied to data from all time points.

Influenza (“Flu”)

  • Reported influenza cases began increasing in Alaska in mid-December. The number of reported cases from the week of January 9–January 15 was similar to the number the prior week.
  • Right now, most influenza in Alaska is caused by influenza A.
  • 23% of Alaskans aged ≥10 years have been vaccinated against seasonal influenza. It is not too late to get vaccinated against influenza.
  • Last week, far more cases of influenza were reported from Anchorage than any other region. Learn more in the weekly Alaska Influenza Snapshot.

Positive influenza lab reports in Alaska by week of specimen collection for the 2017-2018 influenza season through present. The current season through January 15, 2022 is shown in red.

Emergency Department Visits with COVID-like or Influenza-like Illness

  • Syndromic surveillance consists of analyzing data on symptoms and diagnoses among patients visiting emergency departments in Alaska. The main goal is to identify trends. Unlike case-based surveillance, syndromic surveillance does not depend on laboratory testing.
  • Influenza-like illness (ILI) is defined as having a fever and at least one other symptom, such cough or sore throat. Patients with a diagnosis of influenza are also included, regardless of symptoms.
  • COVID-like illness (CLI) encompasses a broader array of respiratory and other symptoms than influenza-like illness. This category also includes any patient with a diagnosis of COVID-19, regardless of symptoms.
  • Patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 are excluded from the ILI category and, likewise, patients with a diagnosis of influenza are excluded from the CLI category. But a patient without a diagnosis for either could be included in both the CLI and ILI categories. CLI and ILI may be caused by respiratory viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus.
  • As the Delta variant wave waned in Alaska in late October and November 2021, the percentage of emergency department patients with CLI declined. However, it has increased over the past few weeks since mid-December and is now at a level similar to that seen at the peak of the Delta wave.
  • ILI levels have been low for most of the past year but increased substantially in December. This increase corresponds to an increasing number of reported laboratory-confirmed influenza cases.

Take action to protect yourself and your family

  • Get vaccinated and stay up to date: COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone aged 5 and older. Booster shots are available for everyone aged 12 and older if enough time has passed since the initial vaccine series. Getting vaccinated and boosted will help protect you, your family, and your community against COVID-19. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines. You can visit vaccines.gov or text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish.
  • Wear a mask indoors in public: Wearing a well-fitting 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. Some masks such as surgical, KN95, or N95 masks provide higher filtration and therefore better protection than cloth face coverings, but only if the mask fits your face well and is worn consistently.
  • Practice physical distancing: When possible, avoid crowds and keep your distance from others while in public settings – particularly when indoors.
  • Get tested: 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 your contacts to get tested at the appropriate time and, if they are not up to date on COVID vaccination, to quarantine. Learn more about COVID-19 testing.
  • Know your treatment options: If you test positive and you’re at increased risk for severe COVID, ask a health care provider about monoclonal antibody treatment or oral antivirals. These treatments reduce the risk of hospitalization. This treatment works best when given soon after symptoms start. Learn more about COVID-19 treatments.

Information and Resources

  • The State of Alaska COVID-19 vaccines 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. 
  • DHSS COVID-19 Communication Toolkit provides PSAs, flyers, and social media graphics.
    • Learn more about the importance of physical activity, highlighted by our Play Every Day and our Healthy You 2022 campaigns: Play Every Day.
  • Subscribe to the DHSS Insights blog for behind-the-scenes news about Alaska’s COVID-19 response and other efforts to protect the health and well-being of Alaskans.
  • 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.
  • For the most up-to-date case information, see the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub dashboard: data.coronavirus.alaska.gov. All dashboard data are updated Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (except holidays). 
  • For DHSS media inquiries, please contact clinton.bennett@alaska.gov

ECHO sessions

ECHO sessions create virtual learning communities by connecting Alaska’s health experts with specific audiences on specific topics. These 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.

Below is a selection of upcoming ECHO sessions. 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.

School Health ECHO
Monday, 3-4 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
Tuesday, 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.

Public Science ECHO
Wednesday, noon-1 p.m. (Register)
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

Healthcare Specific Situational Awareness ECHO
Thursday, noon-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.

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: January 2 – January 8, 2022

COVID and Flu Update

Key Findings

  • COVID-19 cases are rising very rapidly across most of Alaska, the great majority of which are likely due to the Omicron variant.
  • Appreciable levels of influenza transmission began occurring in mid-December and have continued since then.
  • Other respiratory viruses are circulating in addition to SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus.

COVID-19

  • High levels of COVID-19 transmission are occurring throughout much of Alaska and the pandemic is on a rapid upward trajectory in Alaska. Hospitalizations are increasing as well.
  • 7,654 cases were reported in Alaskans the week of January 2–January 8. This is a 115% increase from the number of cases reported the week before. While differences in testing and reporting due to the holidays make quantifying the rate of increase more challenging, this increase in cases is the largest week-over-week increase recorded in Alaska in terms of the absolute number of cases and is also among the largest in terms of the proportional increase.
  • The number of new COVID-19 cases has continued to increase rapidly in the most populous boroughs, with weekly case counts in the Municipality of Anchorage and the City and Borough of Juneau reaching record levels. Cases were up sharply in both the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Reported cases last week in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough were similar to levels reported the previous week, but this likely reflects a large reduction in testing availability related to severe weather.
  • The intensity of COVID-19 transmission varies between communities outside the largest boroughs, but many boroughs and census areas have seen recent and large increases in COVID-19 cases and in some instances have reached levels of weekly case counts not previously seen in the pandemic.
  • Community transmission of the Omicron variant has been confirmed in Anchorage and is likely widespread in Alaska. Laboratory evidence indicates that the Omicron variant has become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in Alaska and is driving the sharp acceleration of the pandemic in Alaska. Visit Alaska’s SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Dashboard to learn more.  
  • To learn more about COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19 in Alaska, visit the Cases Dashboard or the monthly report. The cases dashboard includes demographic information on cases and the monthly report includes demographic information on hospitalizations and deaths.

COVID-19 cases among Alaska residents by week of onset date.

Borough/Census AreaAlert Level
December 20
Alert Level
December 27
Alert Level
January 3
Alert Level
January 10
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality435150.5393136.02,180754.44,7091,629.6
Fairbanks North Star Borough123126.6125128.7224230.5753775.0
Juneau City and Borough55173.173229.8259815.25311,671.2
Kenai Peninsula Borough72122.278132.4100169.7266451.4
Matanuska-Susitna Region181168.710799.7439409.1391364.4
Nome Census Area45460.619194.5*25255.91651,689.0
North Slope Borough4**661.4*35358.276777.8
Northwest Arctic Borough17224.2*15197.8*44580.2861,134.1
Chugach Census Area10148.1*2**9133.3*33488.8
Copper River Census Area3**6222.3*7259.4*13481.7*
Denali Borough0**1**4**1**
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area2**7100.9*18259.5*21302.7
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area17337.0*1**23456.0761,506.7
Haines Borough4**0**321,269.8381,507.9
Petersburg Borough6188.1*6188.1*5**6188.1*
Sitka City and Borough23269.929340.372844.81601,877.3
Skagway Municipality1**1**2**1**
Wrangell City and Borough0**1**2**271,134.9
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon3**9339.9*6226.6*19717.5*
Ketchikan Gateway Borough52380.252380.250365.672526.4
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area7114.9*7114.9*5**971,592.8
Bethel Census Area31173.518100.7*40223.9120671.6
Kusilvak Census Area52642.935432.717210.2*971,199.3
Aleutians East Borough0**1**2**10341.9*
Aleutians West Census Area0**4**12216.5*721,298.7
Dillingham Census Area5**7146.7*14293.3*26544.7
Kodiak Island Borough863.4*13103.1*57452.03412,704.0
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula3**4**6247.9*17702.5*
Statewide1,160159.11,020139.93,689506.18,2251,128.4

Alert levels by borough and census area are based on the number of reported cases over the past 7 days per 100,000 residents.
*Rates based on <20 observations are statistically unreliable and should be used with caution.
**Rates based on <6 observations are not reported.

COVID-19 and Hospital Capacity

  • Hospital capacity is currently very limited because of staff being out with COVID-19 and because of high numbers of patients.
  • The Crisis Care Committee remains active seeking input from, and providing guidance to, health care providers, including allocating, augmenting, or moving constrained resources during this surge to maximize the health of all Alaskans.
  • As of January 10, 2022 there were 79 persons with COVID-19 in Alaska hospitals, accounting for 7.7% of all hospitalized persons. Visit the Hospital Dashboard for more data.

Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied

COVID-19 and Vaccination

  • 68.2% of Alaska residents aged ≥5 years have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Among those who completed the primary vaccine series, 43.8% of Alaska residents ≥18 years have received their booster. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination coverage in Alaska on the Vaccine Dashboard.
  • Vaccines help protect against infection and against severe disease, especially when a person is up to date on vaccinations. Unvaccinated Alaskans are more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than Alaskans who have completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccination and are more than 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19. See the monthly report to learn more.
  • Among Alaska residents aged ≥5 years from January 16, 2021–January 8, 2022, 31,951 cases were documented in persons who had completed the primary series and were considered fully vaccinated. Among those vaccine-breakthrough cases, 352 hospitalizations and 112 deaths due to COVID-19 have been recorded. During that time, 69,267 cases have been documented in unvaccinated Alaskans aged ≥5 years, leading to 1,639 hospitalizations and 504 deaths. All data are preliminary and subject to change.
  • During the Omicron wave, cases in vaccinated persons have become more frequent, but Alaskans who are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines (i.e., completed the primary series and received a booster dose, if eligible) still have lower rates of becoming a case than those who are unvaccinated or are not up-to-date.

In order to more easily identify changes over time, the definition of “up-to-date” as of January 8, 2022 was applied to data from all time points.

Influenza (“Flu”)

  • Reported influenza cases began increasing in Alaska in mid-December. The number of reported cases from the week of January 2–January 8 was similar to the number the prior week.
  • Right now, most influenza in Alaska is caused by influenza A.
  • 22% of Alaskans aged ≥10 years have been vaccinated against seasonal influenza. It is not too late to get vaccinated against influenza.

Last week, far more cases of influenza were reported from Anchorage than any other region. Learn more in the weekly Alaska Influenza Snapshot

Positive influenza lab reports in Alaska by week of specimen collection for the 2017-2018 influenza season through present. The current season through January 8, 2022 is shown in red.

Emergency Department Visits with COVID-like or Influenza-like Illness

  • Syndromic surveillance consists of analyzing data on symptoms and diagnoses among patients visiting emergency departments in Alaska. The main goal is to identify trends. Unlike case-based surveillance, syndromic surveillance does not depend on laboratory testing.
  • Influenza-like illness (ILI) is defined as having a fever and at least one other symptom, such cough or sore throat. Patients with a diagnosis of influenza are also included, regardless of symptoms.
  • COVID-like illness (CLI) encompasses a broader array of respiratory and other symptoms than influenza-like illness. This category also includes any patient with a diagnosis of COVID-19, regardless of symptoms.
  • Patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 are excluded from the ILI category and, likewise, patients with a diagnosis of influenza are excluded from the CLI category. But a patient without a diagnosis for either could be included in both the CLI and ILI categories. CLI and ILI may be caused by respiratory viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus.
  • As the Delta variant wave waned in Alaska in late October and November 2021, the percentage of emergency department patients with CLI declined. However, in the past two weeks it has rapidly increased.
  • ILI levels have been low for most of the past year but increased substantially in December. This increase corresponds to an increasing number of reported laboratory-confirmed influenza cases.

Take action to protect yourself and your family

  • Get vaccinated and stay up to date: COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone aged 5 and older. Booster shots are available for everyone aged 12 and older if enough time has passed since the initial vaccine series. Getting vaccinated and boosted will help protect you, your family, and your community against COVID-19. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines. You can visit vaccines.gov or text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish.
  • Wear a mask indoors in public: Wearing a well-fitting 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. Some masks such as surgical, KN95, or N95 masks provide higher filtration and therefore better protection than cloth face coverings, but only if the mask fits your face well and is worn consistently.
  • Practice physical distancing: When possible, avoid crowds and keep your distance from others while in public settings – particularly when indoors.
  • Get tested: 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 your contacts to get tested at the appropriate time and, if they are not up to date on COVID vaccination, to quarantine. Learn more about COVID-19 testing.

Know your treatment options: If you test positive and you’re at increased risk for severe COVID, ask a health care provider about monoclonal antibody treatment or oral antivirals. These treatments reduce the risk of hospitalization. This treatment works best when given soon after symptoms start. Learn more about COVID-19 treatments.

Information and Resources

  • The State of Alaska COVID-19 vaccines 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. 
  • DHSS COVID-19 Communication Toolkit provides PSAs, flyers, and social media graphics.
  • Subscribe to the DHSS Insights blog for behind-the-scenes news about Alaska’s COVID-19 response and other efforts to protect the health and well-being of Alaskans.
  • 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.
  • For the most up-to-date case information, see the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub dashboard: data.coronavirus.alaska.gov. All dashboard data are updated Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (except holidays). 

For DHSS media inquiries, please contact clinton.bennett@alaska.gov

ECHO Sessions

DHSS, UAA ECHO

Session information and recordings of previous ECHO sessions
subscribe to ECHO calendar updates | email: echo@alaskachd.org | website: akecho.org

ECHO sessions create virtual learning communities by connecting Alaska’s health experts with specific audiences on specific topics. These 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.

Below is a selection of upcoming ECHO sessions. 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.

School Health ECHO
Monday, 3-4 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
Tuesday, 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.

Public Science ECHO
Wednesday, noon-1 p.m. (Register)
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

Healthcare Specific Situational Awareness ECHO
Thursday, noon-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.Special Pop-Up Session: Alaska Medical Provider ECHO
Tuesday, Jan. 18, 7-8 p.m. (Register)
This special pop-up session of the Alaska Medical Provider ECHO features updates on COVID-19, including the Omicron variant and new Federal guidelines.

NEWS RELEASE: January 12 Unified Command Meeting

UNIFIED COMMAND DISCUSSES THE NEED FOR CONTINUED MITIGATIONS

SITKA, January 12, 2022 – Dr. Bruhl, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Chief Medical Officer and Incident Commander reported the current surge with the Omicrom variant was rolling through the entire State of Alaska. He said the State of Alaska was lagging a few weeks behind the lower 48. He reported virtually all the variants that were being tested around the State was the Omicrom variant. He noted it was much more transmissible but less virulent. People were not as sick in general although, those that were still susceptible were and can get very and even deathly sick. He stated COVID-19 continued to be a real threat to human health especially with those that had chronic medical problems and people over the age of 65. He said the community needed to protect them and continue to do so with being aware of wearing masks around others, maintaining social distance, and washing hands. He stated that they were seeing cases of the flu which was another good reason for mitigations.

With regards to added activities that the hospital was undertaking, to reflect increased level of caution, Dr. Bruhl stated they had restricted the use of the cafeteria to whom was in or directly related to the hospital and they were not allowing congregation there. He said that staff was using N95 masks for all direct patient to patient contact noting that the ambulatory environments were using surgical masks. He said that because the hospital was where the most vulnerable were taken care of in general, they were insisting on N95 use for all patient to patient contacts in that environment. He said the CDC announcement two weeks ago changed the guidance for employers to allow staff who have contracted COVID-19 to return to employment after five days if they were asymptomatic and if all was resolved after the five days and it was safe to return to work, the requirement to wear a mask for a minimum of five days. He noted that most surgical masks would be fine. He emphasized the important of personal hygiene such as washing hands, not touching nose and eyes, wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and to not go to work if you were sick. He stated that those were the basic measures as a community that would help the most.

Planning Section Chief Rob Janik reported Fire Hall protocols in place for a long time now of all patient contact with an N95 mask with eye protection or a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR). He noted the importance that the PAPR does not filter the exiting air. He stated they were OK with supplies and were doing testing of staff members if exposed or symptomatic. He said that there was an EMT training program this weekend with a lot of mitigation in place. 

Public Health Nurse Denise Ewing urged those to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying home if you were sick. She noted if you had tested positive at a testing site or with a personal at home test to isolate yourself and notify your close contacts. She informed that close contacts were those you have been with 2 days prior to symptoms or go to by your test date if you did not have symptoms. She said to wash hands, wear masks, get vaccinated and take care of your overall mental and physical health.

Ewing told of the three masks that were suggested by the CDC as superior during Omicron: N95, double straps worn by medical professionals, which would say NOSH on them and to be careful of knock offs; KN95, ear loop straps, sewn to a point; and KF95, ear loop straps with flat panel in front. She suggested considering to upgrading to a higher filtration mask. She noted that surgical masks, cloth masks, gaiters/buffs were not as effective unless doubled up and to make sure it was sealed around the face with no gaps. She stated if glasses fog up, the mask was not sealed well enough.

She told that the SEARHC COVID-19 testing was at Mountainside Urgent Care Monday through Friday 12:00 until 3:00 p.m., and Saturday 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. She stated to call the COVID hotline or Urgent Care for testing outside of those hours.

She said that Bionex or QuickVue at home tests were in high demand and noted shortages with none currently available from Public Health or Harry Race Pharmacy, but they were continuing to work on getting them in stock.

She relayed new CDC Guidelines: For Persons Who are Exposed to Someone with COVID-19. If you were asymptomatic and • have been boosted or • completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months or • completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last two months then • wear a mask around others for 10 days • test on day 5 if you develop symptoms get tested and stay home. If you were asymptomatic and • completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted or • completed the primary series of J&J over two months ago and were not boosted or • are unvaccinated then • self-quarantine for five days; after that, continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days • if unable to quarantine, wear a mask for 10 days • test on day five if you develop symptoms get tested and stay home.

Ewing reported that Influenza was in Sitka, Public Health was seeing an uptick in Influenza, and recommended getting a flu shot for anyone 6 months and older. She noted that vaccines were not everything but were an extremely helpful tool to keep from getting heavily impacted and or hospitalized.

She stated the CDC recommended everyone 12 years or older should get a COVID-19 vaccine booster and noted the following:

  • For people who received a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine initially, a booster was recommended five months after their primary series.
  • A booster was recommended two months after an initial Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
  • mRNA vaccines were preferred vaccines.
  • When you had completed the primary series of two shots (unless you were immune compromised then that was three) and you get a booster, you were considered up to date and fully vaccinated right after the dose, you did not have to wait the typical two weeks for full immunity.

Ewing relayed that the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, both the Division of Public Health and Section of Epidemiology were working on the next phase of pandemic response with case investigation and contact tracing.  As of February 28, 2022, broad-based contact investigation and tracing would begin infrastructure transitions to an approach that supported high risk settings (congregate settings) with a streamlined team. She said the team would focus on supporting and coaching mitigation strategies including quarantine, isolation, testing, and workplace infection prevention. She said the streamlined team of contact tracers would support congregate settings such as fisheries, mining, homeless shelters, and assisted living settings with mitigation strategies including quarantine, isolation, testing, and workplace infection prevention. Which meant the State of Alaska would be transitioning away from broad-based tracing of all positive cases. She noted with the high Omicron transmission rates, it was no longer feasible to keep contact tracing successfully and accurately in the current iteration. As such they were focusing on a more targeted approach to those persons that would be most affected and to those we could most impact. With the availability of vaccines, reduced isolation and quarantine requirements, and expansive dissemination of information to the public on the need to isolate and seek testing when sick, wear a mask in public spaces, and quarantine after exposure, contact tracing of all positive cases did not provide the benefit in reduction of cases seen early in the pandemic before these resources were as widely available. They were focusing efforts on persons who were most affected by COVID-19 to make the greatest impact on the vulnerable populations within the State. She said early on in an epidemic, case investigation and contact tracing were needed to stop transmission and prevent a large outbreak from occurring. She relayed if efforts to contain the epidemic were unsuccessful and widespread transmission occurred in the community, then stricter community mitigation measures (such as stay-at-home orders, business closures, etc.) should be implemented. It was critical that case investigation and contact tracing activities be adequately resourced and widely accepted in any community where they were implemented. She said when there was no longer capacity to investigate a majority of new COVID-19 cases, case investigation, and contact tracing may not be the most effective approach noting at that point, suspending or scaling down contact tracing activities and reimplementing strict mitigation measures (such as stay-at-home orders, business closures, and school closures) until transmission begins to decline would be a strategy. She said with the high transmissibility and rapidly increasing case counts with the Omicron variant, capacity to investigate the majority of cases had been exceeded. The incubation period for Omicron was estimated to be two to four days, which reduced the ability of contact tracing to effectively investigate cases and notify contacts of the need to quarantine before the contacts became ill and further spread COVID-19 within the community.

Ewing stated that Public Health was available to answer questions or to help navigate COVID-19 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and by calling 907.747.3255.

Thor Christianson, Logistics reported the ability to get most medical supplies.

Travis Miller, Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) reported testing of staff when requested and every two weeks with in-house testing which was reported through the state website. He relayed that most staff were working from home this week.

Public Information Officers Melissa Henshaw and Jessica Ieremia reported very few calls or emails and told of social media posts surrounding symptoms, quarantining, and isolation.

Incident Commander Craig Warren reported that both school districts were incredibly busy trying to keep in person learning and that Mt. Edgecumbe High School was finding it challenging to get students back to Sitka. He noted the trend and asked for help with the whole community. He urged citizens to not go to work sick with the flu or with COVID-19. He said it would be transmitted to co-workers and customers. He reminded of mitigations, washing hands, social distancing, and masking. He said only eight students would attend the EMT class in person in a large room with N95 masks on the entire time. He reminded citizens that we were not out of the woods yet with this and that we needed to double down on it. All mitigation measures talked about for almost two years would help us all out, help out the hospital, loved ones, friends, and emergency responders. He thanked those that were doing their part and those that sat on Unified Command.

Due to the High Alert Level in Sitka, Sitka Unified Command recommends continued mitigation: face coverings were 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.

# # #

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: December 26 — January 1, 2022

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
December 26 — January 1, 2022

HIGH Statewide transmission
Rt1.64
HIGH Statewide alert status 506.1LIMITED Hospital
capacity
HIGH Test positivity
12.78%
67.8%
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 facilities continue to have a high number of inpatients, which results in delays in admitting patients from emergency departments as well as other operational challenges.Red->5%
Orange- 2-5%
Yellow- <2%
This includes people with at least one dose. Estimated AK population 5 and older of 680,580 from the AK Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
  • Alaska currently has the forty-fourth highest number of cases in the last seven days per 100,000 population among the 50 states.
  • Hospital capacity was strained during the Delta variant wave of COVID-19 and continues to be limited as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly. 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 and 2022 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 January 1, 2022, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients had a median age 14 years younger than fully vaccinated patients.

  • High levels of COVID-19 transmission are occurring throughout much of Alaska and the pandemic is on a rapid upward trajectory in Alaska. Dozens of Alaskans are hospitalized with COVID-19 each week.
  • 3,576 cases were reported in Alaskans the week of December 26–January 1. This is a 232% increase from the number of cases reported the week before. While differences in testing and reporting due to the holidays make quantifying the rate of increase more challenging, this increase in cases is the largest week-over-week increase recorded in Alaska in terms of the absolute number of cases and is also among the largest in terms of the proportional increase.
  • The number of new COVID-19 cases has rapidly increased in the Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and the City and Borough of Juneau. There was also an increase in cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough. There is not a clear upwards or downwards trajectory in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
  • The intensity of COVID-19 transmission varies substantially between communities outside the largest boroughs, but many boroughs and census areas have seen recent and large increases in COVID-19 cases.
  • Community transmission of the Omicron variant has been confirmed in Anchorage. Preliminary laboratory evidence suggests that the Omicron variant is rapidly becoming the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in Alaska and is driving the sharp acceleration of the pandemic in Alaska. 

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 (see below for more information). Currently available COVID vaccines will help protect you, your family, and your community against COVID-19.
  • 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 to quarantine. People who are up to date on their COVID vaccination do not need to quarantine. Learn more about who needs to quarantine here.
  • If you test positive and you’re at increased risk for severe COVID, consider obtaining monoclonal antibody treatment or oral antivirals. These have been shown to be effective treatments for reducing the risk of hospitalization. These treatments work 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
December 13
Alert Level
December 20
Alert Level
December 27
Alert Level
January 3
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality466161.3435150.5393136.02,180754.4
Fairbanks North Star Borough9193.7123126.6125128.7224230.5
Juneau City and Borough63198.355173.173229.8259815.2
Kenai Peninsula Borough74125.672122.278132.4100169.7
Matanuska-Susitna Region217202.2181168.710799.7439409.1
Nome Census Area58593.745460.619194.5*25255.9
North Slope Borough881.9*4**661.4*35358.2
Northwest Arctic Borough35461.617224.2*15197.8*44580.2
Chugach Census Area1**10148.1*2**9133.3*
Copper River Census Area7259.4*3**6222.3*7259.4*
Denali Borough0**0**1**4**
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area8115.3*2**7100.9*18259.5*
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area3**17337.0*1**23456.0
Haines Borough0**4**0**321,269.8
Petersburg Borough3**6188.1*6188.1*5**
Sitka City and Borough26305.123269.929340.372844.8
Skagway Municipality1**1**1**2**
Wrangell City and Borough1**0**1**2**
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon1**3**9339.9*6226.6*
Ketchikan Gateway Borough67489.952380.252380.250365.6
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area13213.5*7114.9*7114.9*5**
Bethel Census Area40223.931173.518100.7*40223.9
Kusilvak Census Area55680.052642.935432.717210.2*
Aleutians East Borough1**0**1**2**
Aleutians West Census Area2**0**4**12216.5*
Dillingham Census Area13272.4*5**7146.7*14293.3*
Kodiak Island Borough19150.7*863.4*13103.1*57452.0
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula5**3**4**6247.9*
Statewide1,278175.31,160159.11,020139.93,689506.1

*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.
  • Everyone ≥12 years old who received the primary series of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine ≥5 months ago or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine ≥6 months ago should receive a booster dose.
  • Everyone who received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine ≥2 months ago should receive a booster dose, preferably of an mRNA vaccine.
  • Learn more about who should get a booster dose and to find COVID-19 vaccines near you at covidvax.alaska.gov.
  • 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 ≥5 years who received one or more doses of vaccine.

Borough/Census AreaJanuary 3
Aleutians East Borough96%
Aleutians West Census Area74%
Anchorage Municipality76%
Bethel Census Area81%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula77%
Denali Borough75%
Dillingham Census Area65%
Fairbanks North Star Borough67%
Haines Borough73%
Juneau City and Borough84%
Kenai Peninsula Borough53%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough71%
Kodiak Island Borough73%
Kusilvak Census Area80%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough46%
Nome Census Area82%
North Slope Borough42%
Northwest Arctic Borough67%
Petersburg Borough68%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area69%
Sitka City and Borough83%
Skagway Municipality82%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area39%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area65%
Wrangell City and Borough65%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon80%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area83%
Statewide67.8%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 21 to 3,269. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 5.7% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of January 3, 2022.
  • On January 1st there were 52 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 5.5% decrease relative to the week before when there were 55 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 2 to 947. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during December 26–January 1 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.

Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied

Variant Tracking

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)6,251+1230 May 2021
Omicron (B.1.1.529-like)7+129 November 2021
 
Variants Being MonitoredCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Alpha (B.1.1.7)466020 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Epsilon (B.1.427/429)144024 December 2020
Eta (B.1.525)1016 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)7708 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 ≥5 years with a specimen collection date from January 16–January 1, 2022.
  • From January 16, 2021–January 1, 2022, 112 deaths, 349 hospitalizations, and 27,832 cases with a VB infection were reported among Alaska residents aged ≥5 years. These counts are provisional and subject to change as data are compiled and reviewed. In that same time frame, a total of 98,217 cases, 2,061 hospitalizations, and 634 deaths were reported.
  • 73% of all cases, 83% of all hospitalizations, and 82% of deaths among Alaska residents aged ≥5 years from January 16, 2021–January 1, 2022 were in people who were not fully vaccinated. 
  • More detailed information about hospitalizations, deaths, repeat and vaccine breakthrough infections among Alaska residents can also be found in the monthly report, which includes data through November.
  • 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 and the number of cases among persons who are not fully vaccinated.
 Cases (December 26–January 1)
RegionVaccine breakthrough (All ages)Not fully vaccinated
(All ages)
Anchorage Municipality10791014
Fairbanks North Star Borough85117
Juneau City and Borough14590
Kenai Peninsula Borough3846
Matanuska-Susitna Borough163262
Northwest Region6242
Other Interior Region3131
Other Southeast Region – Northern7053
Other Southeast Region – Southern3624
Southwest Region6848
Y-K Delta Region3531
  • 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:

DHSS, UAA ECHO

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

Regular Series

Alaska Medical Provider ECHO (formerly COVID-19 for AK Healthcare Providers)
Monthly on the 1st 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.

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
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.