COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: October 3 — October 2, 2021

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
October 3 — October 9, 2021

Intermediate Statewide transmission
Rt1.02
HIGH Statewide alert status 834.5HIGH ALERT Hospital capacityHIGH Test positivity
10.65%
63.9%
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 9th and October 10th due to high volumes of both COVID and non-COVID patients.Red->5%
Orange- 2-5%
Yellow- <2%
This includes people with at least one dose. Estimated AK population 12 and older of 607,022 from the AK Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Case Trends

  • 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 10 years younger than in 2020.
    • Among those hospitalized due to COVID-19 and with specimen collection dates from January 16, 2021 through October 9, 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.
  • The number of COVID cases each week appears to have plateaued statewide and in many boroughs and census areas. In Fairbanks North Star Borough there is evidence of modest declines in the number of new cases each week. The incidence of COVID-19 in the Municipality of Anchorage appears to have either plateaued or be increasing. Regardless of the trajectory, intense community transmission is continuing to occur and is causing significant illness, death, and demand on the health care system.
  • 5,695 cases were reported in Alaskans between October 3–October 9. This is a 21.4% decrease from the number of cases reported the week before. However, a large number of backlogged cases were not counted the week of September 26 and consequently the nominal decrease in reported cases does not reflect the true trajectory of COVID-19 cases in Alaska.
  • The 7-day test-positivity rate in Alaska is nearly the highest it has ever been, indicating widespread community transmission and the need for more testing.
  • While 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.

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 includes but is 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 AreaAlert Level
September 20
Alert Level
September 27
Alert Level
October 4
Alert Level
October 11
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality2,570889.43,1251,081.42,272786.22,471855.1
Fairbanks North Star Borough733754.41,4311,472.8872897.5702722.5
Juneau City and Borough250786.8282887.5182572.8150472.1
Kenai Peninsula Borough369626.17061,198.0481816.26631,125.0
Matanuska-Susitna Region771718.51,8481,722.2926863.0898836.9
Nome Census Area23235.470716.663644.91031,054.4
North Slope Borough2552,609.82182,231.11511,545.456573.1
Northwest Arctic Borough54712.12012,650.71522,004.51632,149.5
Chugach Census Area24355.5921,362.857844.359873.9
Copper River Census Area16592.8*391,445.0331,222.726963.3
Denali Borough9498.3*16885.9*8443.0*17941.3*
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area51735.250720.844634.336519.0
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area30594.847931.8521,030.934674.1
Haines Borough16634.9*411,627.010396.8*9357.1*
Petersburg Borough2**0**481,505.216501.7*
Sitka City and Borough31363.742492.827316.823269.9
Skagway Municipality1**3**6523.1*1**
Wrangell City and Borough1**1**9378.3*2**
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon4**26981.924906.3471,774.9
Ketchikan Gateway Borough69504.549358.379577.663460.6
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area29476.241673.214229.9*3**
Bethel Census Area178996.2173268.22221,242.42381,332.0
Kusilvak Census Area56692.451630.647581.1911,125.1
Aleutians East Borough2**0**13444.4*1**
Aleutians West Census Area6108.2*22396.822396.84**
Dillingham Census Area44921.9751,571.3601,257.1611,278.0
Kodiak Island Borough86681.92001,585.91921,522.51311,038.8
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula18743.8*662,727.3321,322.315619.8*
Statewide5,699781.98,9151,223.16,099836.76,083834.5

*Rates based on <20 observations are statistically unreliable and should be used with caution.
**Rates based on <6 observations are not reported.

Vaccination Status

  • Anyone aged ≥12 years in Alaska is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you have received an initial dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to get your second dose too. Scientific studies have shown that two doses of an mRNA vaccine are more effective than one dose of an mRNA vaccine, especially against emerging variants of concern.
  • CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of an mRNA vaccine.
  • Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are approved and recommended by both the FDA and CDC for certain persons—including any person aged 65 or older—who received the primary series of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 6 months ago. Many Alaskans who are at the highest risk for COVID-19 are now eligible to receive a Pfizer booster dose. 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

Borough/Census AreaOctober 12
Aleutians East Borough89.3%
Aleutians West Census Area75.5%
Anchorage Municipality68.1%
Bethel Census Area80.6%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula93.1%
Denali Borough73.8%
Dillingham Census Area66.6%
Fairbanks North Star Borough55.8%
Haines Borough75.4%
Juneau City and Borough83.8%
Kenai Peninsula Borough53.2%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough71.8%
Kodiak Island Borough73.8%
Kusilvak Census Area84.3%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough46.7%
Nome Census Area85.8%
North Slope Borough42.3%
Northwest Arctic Borough69.9%
Petersburg Borough70.2%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area71.5%
Sitka City and Borough84.1%
Skagway Municipality87.5%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area38.5%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area68.0%
Wrangell City and Borough66.9%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon81.5%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area84.4%
Statewide63.9%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 76 to 2,527. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 18.8% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of October 12, 2021.
  • On October 9th, there were 177 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 16.9% decrease relative to the week before when there were 213 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 16 to 574. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during October 3–October 9 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)3,453+26618 May 2021
 
Variants of InterestCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Alpha (B.1.1.7)461020 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)7508 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 9, 2021. 
    • From January 16–October 9, 2021, 48 deaths, 193 hospitalizations, and 15,330 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 57,745 cases, 1,358 hospitalizations, and 278 deaths were reported.
    • 73% of all cases, 86% of all hospitalizations, and 83% of deaths among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years from January 16–October 9, 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 among Alaskan residents can also be found in the monthly report.
    • 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

  • The new COVID-19 monthly report for August 2021 is now available. It’s full of helpful data and information to help Alaskans understand Alaska’s trends. Check it out: COVID-19 Update Hospitalizations, Deaths, and Vaccine Breakthrough Infections, through August 2020, Section of Epidemiology, Alaska Division of Public Health
  • Video PSAs to share:
  • Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are authorized and recommended by both the FDA and CDC for certain populations. Many Alaskans who are at the highest risk for COVID-19 are now eligible to receive a Pfizer booster dose. Learn more about who should get a booster dose and to find COVID-19 vaccines near you at covidvax.alaska.gov.
  • Recent social media posts and graphics to share:  Alaska Responders Relief Line| Winterize +Immunize | Starting a Family?
  • Check out the new Sleeves Up for School dashboard showing vaccine rates for 12-18 year old Alaska residents. 
  • Give AK a Shot sweepstakes: Weekly statewide drawings continue through Oct. 30 for newly vaccinated individuals and one drawing for individuals who received their vaccination between December 2020 and Sept. 1, 2021. Share their PSA
  • Bounce Back Alaska: Resiliency resources for youth, parents, educators, and families
  • 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.

Additional informational resources:

Additional ECHO session details:

  • Special Pop-Up Session: Alaska Medical Providers: Applying Crisis Standards of Care in Your Practice 
  • Perinatal ECHO Session: Critical Congenital Heart Defects
    • Thursday, October 21, 6:00-7:00pm
    • Register at: https://echo.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwlce-hqTIjHtAfH-NNvFOK3shfHD3Np92O
    • This session will feature a didactic presentation on critical congenital heart defects in Alaska by Dr. James Christiansen, pediatric cardiologist, and Chris Barnett, epidemiologist and program manager of the Alaska Birth Defects Registry. We will also have case presentations by pediatric cardiologists, Dr. Scott Wellmann and Dr. Kevin Kollins. As always, we will have ample time for Q&A and discussion with presenters and the hub team.
  • 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.
    • Register for our Alaska Medical Providers ECHO here: https://echo.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwud-yuqT4pGNSr7F2eJ1jscT16rUsoGAj-
  • School Health ECHO
    • Every Monday from 3:30-4:30 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

NEWS RELEASE: October 13 Unified Command Meeting

UNIFIED COMMAND DISCUSSES DASHBOARD, VACCINES, AND MITIGATIONS

SITKA, October 13, 2021 – Incident Commander Craig Warren reported Unified Command was and would continue to meet every three weeks since there were no projects. However, Unified Command would continue to keep member’s listed positions so that if issues were to arise, a meeting could come together quickly. He stated that the City and Borough of Sitka’s IT team was having difficulty with automating the COVID-19 Dashboard to update as soon as data posted to the state site so there were fluctuations in the timing that the data was posted. He also relayed the vaccination rate system was built to account for a first and second dose, but the third and booster doses were affecting the numbers. He said the state was trying to correct it, but that in the meantime, there may be glitches.

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 gave an update on administering COVID-19 vaccines, stating that SEARHC had given 900 third dose/booster vaccines which was approved in late September. She said SEARHC had completed over 1,200 flu shots as well. She told that SEARHC was offering combined clinics for both the booster and flu vaccines two days a week; the next clinic would be October 19, 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. She stated the clinics would continue through the fall and winter as Moderna and Johnson and Johnson booster COVID-19 vaccines became approved as well vaccine approval for broader populations including pediatrics hoping by early November. She stated that the recommendation for cross vaccinating was to continue with the same vaccine brand.

Planning Section Chief Rob Janik reported distributed tests and BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Cards and would be leaning on SEARHC if need be, for supplies.

Public Information Officer Melissa Henshaw reported few calls and questions coming in along with continued social media posts to relay information.

Janelle Vanasse, Superintendent of Mt. Edgecumbe High School (MEHS) reported continued mitigations that seemed to be working well. She stated there were no positive COVID-19 cases currently on campus. She congratulated Region 5 and all the Southeast Alaska schools for their commitment to require mitigation for sports including those coming from outside the region. She said that a team was going to come to town, but because of testing requirements, they discovered several COVID-19 positive cases on that team which allowed them to take care of that and avoid spread. She noted the common message to ask visiting teams to test before coming and felt like it was going to make a big difference for all teams in the region to continue sports for the students.

Sitka School District (SSD) Superintendent Frank Hauser reported four currently active COVID-19 cases associated with the SSD buildings which represented less than 0.4% of the total student population. He stated their mitigations were insuring that previous active cases were declining. He reminded parents to keep students’ home if they were sick or if anyone in the household or among close contacts had COVID-19 symptoms or COVID-19 like symptoms. He said data showed that school had started with more COVID in the community than other regions, but that there had been less COVID-19 or related interruptions in the schools because of mitigations and working together with SSD, the community, parents and students which kept students in schools and schools open. He stated that COVID-19 cases seemed to be on the decline in Sitka and hoped that the downward trend continued and noted mitigations would shift accordingly. In the meantime, he said that they were miles ahead of where they were last year when students were still learning remotely. He stated the students had already completed a successful quarter, full-time, in-person instruction. He met with Sitka High School Student Council, and they relayed that the students were grateful to have a full-time, in-person school day even if the day included masks and mitigations. He said a plan was in place that was working, the schools were in-person, and they would keep steadily moving forward.

Trish White, Harry Race Pharmacist reported continued COVID-19 vaccine clinics on Friday mornings, and seasonal flu vaccine clinics in the afternoon which included the 65 and older high dose vaccine. She stated they had administered approximately 300 to 350 third/booster doses. She said they were waiting to hear possibly tomorrow from the meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to decide about booster doses for Moderna and Johnson and Johnson along with waiting for authorization for children to be announced. The public may sign up at http://www.sitkapharmacies.com.

Anne Davis, Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) reported continued office closure and staff was being tested every two weeks.

Public Health Nurse, Grace Roller reported continued active cases that was keeping Sitka in the red (high alert level) and although it was slowing down, there had been an uptick today. She stated Public Health was investigating them as they come in. She stated all schools were doing a great job with their mitigation strategy noting how well-contained they were for the cases that they had. She said they were gearing up for vaccination season with a lot of calls and traffic for that although they have not had received their flu vaccines yet, but they were coming. She told of excitement for vaccination for children hopefully in November. She relayed that she had heard that the dose crossover was recommended to continue with the same brand unless it was not available, and someone felt like they needed the third dose. She stated that Public Health Nurse, Denise Ewing would be back in the office in November.

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.

# # #

City and Borough of Sitka Assembly Ordinance Requiring Use of Face Covering in Certain Indoor Settings and Providing a Penalty

On September 28, 2021 the City and Borough of Sitka Assembly passed ordinance 2021-32 requiring the use of a face covering in certain indoor settings and providing a penalty until March 22, 2022, when the risk level as defined by the Sitka Emergency Operations Center is in high risk level.  

The following is required: All individuals must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are indoors in public settings or communal spaces outside the home.  

The ordinance expires when the risk level as defined by the Sitka Emergency Operations Center drops below high. If the risk level return to high, before this ordinance permanently expires, this ordinance will reactivate. This ordinance shall permanently expire on March 22, 2022.  

Click HERE to read details on conditions, settings, employment requirements, exceptions, and enforcement policy.  

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update: September 26 – October 2, 2021

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
September 26 — October 2, 2021

Case Trends

  • 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 9 years younger than in 2020.
    • Among those hospitalized due to COVID-19 and with specimen collection dates from January 16, 2021 through October 2, 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.
  • The incidence of COVID-19 cases appears to have at least leveled off and might be decreasing. Regardless of the trajectory, intense community transmission is continuing to occur and is causing significant illness, death, and demand on the health care system.
  • 7,242 cases were reported in Alaskans between September 26–October 2. This is a 7.8% decrease from the week before. (A large backlog of lab reports was processed over the past two weeks, which increased the number of cases reported. The weekly change in reported cases may not reflect the trajectory of COVID-19 cases in Alaska.)
  • The 7-day test-positivity rate in Alaska is nearly the highest it has ever been, indicating widespread community transmission and the need for more testing.
  • While 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.

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 includes but is 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 AreaAlert Level
September 13
Alert Level
September 20
Alert Level
September 27
Alert Level
October 4
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality1,571543.72,570889.43,1251,081.42,272786.2
Fairbanks North Star Borough628646.4733754.41,4311,472.8872897.5
Juneau City and Borough100314.7250786.8282887.5182572.8
Kenai Peninsula Borough275466.6369626.17061,198.0481816.2
Matanuska-Susitna Region741690.6771718.51,8481,722.2926863.0
Nome Census Area31317.323235.470716.663644.9
North Slope Borough2422,476.72552,609.82182,231.11511,545.4
Northwest Arctic Borough29382.454712.12012,650.71522,004.5
Chugach Census Area26385.124355.5921,362.857844.3
Copper River Census Area25926.316592.8*391,445.0331,222.7
Denali Borough5**9498.3*16885.9*8443.0*
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area38547.851735.250720.844634.3
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area31614.630594.847931.8521,030.9
Haines Borough6238.1*16634.9*411,627.010396.8*
Petersburg Borough0**2**0**481,505.2
Sitka City and Borough10117.3*31363.742492.827316.8
Skagway Municipality2**1**3**6523.1*
Wrangell City and Borough4**1**1**9378.3*
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon1**4**26981.924906.3
Ketchikan Gateway Borough68497.269504.549358.379577.6
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area23377.729476.241673.214229.9*
Bethel Census Area148828.3178996.2173268.22221,242.4
Kusilvak Census Area29358.656692.451630.647581.1
Aleutians East Borough4**2**0**13444.4*
Aleutians West Census Area8144.3*6108.2*22396.822396.8
Dillingham Census Area38796.144921.9751,571.3601,257.1
Kodiak Island Borough49388.586681.92001,585.91921,522.5
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula2**18743.8*662,727.3321,322.3
Statewide4,137567.65,699781.98,9151,223.16,099836.7

*Rates based on <20 observations are statistically unreliable and should be used with caution.
**Rates based on <6 observations are not reported.

Vaccination

  • Anyone aged ≥12 years in Alaska is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you have received an initial dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to get your second dose too. Scientific studies have shown that two doses of an mRNA vaccine are more effective than one dose of an mRNA vaccine, especially against emerging variants of concern.
  • CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of an mRNA vaccine.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are approved and recommended by both the FDA and CDC for certain persons—including any person aged 65 or older—who received the primary series of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 6 months ago. Many Alaskans who are at the highest risk for COVID-19 are now eligible to receive a Pfizer booster dose. 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 AreaOctober 5
Aleutians East Borough89.0%
Aleutians West Census Area75.4%
Anchorage Municipality67.8%
Bethel Census Area80.1%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula92.5%
Denali Borough73.2%
Dillingham Census Area65.9%
Fairbanks North Star Borough55.5%
Haines Borough75.0%
Juneau City and Borough83.5%
Kenai Peninsula Borough52.8%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough71.6%
Kodiak Island Borough73.4%
Kusilvak Census Area83.8%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough46.4%
Nome Census Area85.4%
North Slope Borough42.0%
Northwest Arctic Borough69.2%
Petersburg Borough69.9%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area71.0%
Sitka City and Borough84.0%
Skagway Municipality87.5%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area38.1%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area66.7%
Wrangell City and Borough66.5%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon81.3%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area84.2%
Statewide63.5%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 109 to 2,451. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 20.7% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of October 5, 2021.
  • On October 2nd, there were 213 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 5.3% decrease relative to the week before when there were 225 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 26 to 558. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during September 26–October 2 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
Alpha (B.1.1.7)461+220 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)7508 February 2021
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)3,187+57430 May 2021
 
Variants of InterestCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Epsilon (B.1.427/429)140+324 December 2020
Eta (B.1.525)1016 March 2021
Iota (B.1.526)2404 February 2021
Mu (B.1.621)161+26 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 2, 2021. 
  • From January 16–October 2, 2021, 43 deaths, 172 hospitalizations, and 13,183 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 52,525 cases, 1,278 hospitalizations, and 252 deaths were reported.
  • 75% of all cases, 87% of all hospitalizations, and 83% of deaths among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years from January 16–October 2, 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 among Alaskan residents can also be found in the monthly report.
  • 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.

Additional informational resources:

Additional ECHO session details:

  • 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
  • School Health ECHO
    Every Monday from 3:30-4:30 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

Sitka Case Rate and Alert Level

Based off of the Center for Disease Control and the State of Alaska’s models, Sitka Unified Command color-coded “alert system” is in place to keep the public informed on Sitka’s COVID-19 infection rate. Ordinance 2021-32 passed by the Assembly requires the use of a face covering in certain indoor setting while in high alert level. Go to www.cityofsitka.org to keep updated on the current alert level.

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: September 19 – September 25, 2021

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
September 19 — September 25, 2021

Intermediate Statewide transmission
Rt1.16
HIGH Statewide alert status 1,223.1HIGH ALERT Hospital capacityHIGH Test positivity
9.27%
63%
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 September 25th and September 26th due to high volumes of both COVID and non-COVID patients.Red->5%
Orange- 2-5%
Yellow- <2%
This includes people with at least one dose. Estimated AK population 12 and older of 607,022 from the AK Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Case Trends

  • The number of reported COVID-19 cases in Alaska continued last week on an upwards trajectory.
  • Alaska currently has the highest number of cases in the last seven days per 100,000 population among the 50 states.  
  • Alaska has more people hospitalized with COVID-19 now than were hospitalized with COVID-19 at the peak of the previous surge in late November and early December 2020.
    • Among the 50 states, Alaska has the fourteenth largest percent increase in number of persons hospitalized with COVID-19 over the past two weeks.
    • Hospitalizations are continuing to occur in younger Alaskans, with the median age of persons hospitalized due to COVID-19 in 2021 being about 10 years younger than in 2020.
    • Among those hospitalized due to COVID-19 and with specimen collection dates from January 16, 2021 through September 25, 2021, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients had a median age 15 years younger than fully vaccinated patients.
    • 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.

7-Day COVID-19 Case Rate — Statewide

  • 7,852 cases were reported in Alaskans between September 19–September 25. This is a 43.8% increase from the week before. While the magnitude of this increase partially reflects technical and process changes that reduced the backlog of reported cases, the large number of cases reflects the widespread and intense level of COVID-19 transmission in 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.
  • The 7-day test-positivity rate in Alaska is nearly the highest it has ever been, indicating widespread community transmission and the need for more testing.
  • While 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.

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 includes but is 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 AreaAlert Level
September 7
Alert Level
September 13
Alert Level
September 20
Alert Level
September 27
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality1,399484.11,571543.72,570889.43,1251,081.4
Fairbanks North Star Borough537552.7628646.4733754.41,4311,472.8
Juneau City and Borough158497.3100314.7250786.8282887.5
Kenai Peninsula Borough471799.2275466.6369626.17061,198.0
Matanuska-Susitna Region667621.6741690.6771718.51,8481,722.2
Nome Census Area24245.731317.323235.470716.6
North Slope Borough1982,026.42422,476.72552,609.82182,231.1
Northwest Arctic Borough58764.929382.454712.12012,650.7
Chugach Census Area21311.126385.124355.5921,362.8
Copper River Census Area23852.225926.316592.8*391,445.0
Denali Borough10553.7*5**9498.3*16885.9*
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area22317.138547.851735.250720.8
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area23456.031614.630594.847931.8
Haines Borough9357.1*6238.1*16634.9*411,627.0
Petersburg Borough4**0**2**0**
Sitka City and Borough13152.5*10117.3*31363.742492.8
Skagway Municipality1**2**1**3**
Wrangell City and Borough6252.2*4**1**1**
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon4**1**4**26981.9
Ketchikan Gateway Borough88643.468497.269504.549358.3
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area38624.023377.729476.241673.2
Bethel Census Area110615.6148828.3178996.2173268.2
Kusilvak Census Area34420.429358.656692.451630.6
Aleutians East Borough9307.7*4**2**0**
Aleutians West Census Area20360.88144.3*6108.2*22396.8
Dillingham Census Area641,340.938796.144921.9751,571.3
Kodiak Island Borough49388.549388.586681.92001,585.9
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula7289.3*2**18743.8*662,727.3
Statewide4,067558.04,137567.65,699781.98,9151,223.1
  • *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 ≥12 years in Alaska is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you have received an initial dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to get your second dose too. Scientific studies have shown that two doses of an mRNA vaccine are more effective than one dose of an mRNA vaccine, especially against emerging variants of concern.
  • CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of an mRNA vaccine.
  • Vaccinated persons with immunocompromising conditions should discuss with their health care providers the need for additional personal protective measures.
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322.
  • To find clinics in your area you can visit vaccines.gov or text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish.
  • The Alaska vaccine dashboard is available online for the most up-to-date data.

Borough/Census Area Vaccination Coverage

This is the percent of Alaskans aged ≥12 years who received one or more doses of vaccine.

Borough/Census AreaSeptember 28
Aleutians East Borough89.0%
Aleutians West Census Area74.8%
Anchorage Municipality67.2%
Bethel Census Area79.5%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula92.0%
Denali Borough72.8%
Dillingham Census Area65.1%
Fairbanks North Star Borough54.8%
Haines Borough74.7%
Juneau City and Borough84.6%
Kenai Peninsula Borough52.3%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough71.1%
Kodiak Island Borough73.0%
Kusilvak Census Area83.4%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough45.8%
Nome Census Area84.9%
North Slope Borough41.6%
Northwest Arctic Borough68.3%
Petersburg Borough69.1%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area70.5%
Sitka City and Borough83.5%
Skagway Municipality87.5%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area37.9%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area66.7%
Wrangell City and Borough66.0%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon80.7%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area83.3%
Statewide63%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 131 to 2,342. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 22.3% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of September 28, 2021.
  • On September 25th, there were 225 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is an 11.9% increase relative to the week before when there were 201 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 73 to 532. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during September 19–September 25 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
Alpha (B.1.1.7)459+220 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)75+18 February 2021
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)2,613+36830 May 2021
 
Variants of InterestCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Epsilon (B.1.427/429)137024 December 2020
Eta (B.1.525)1016 March 2021
Iota (B.1.526)2404 February 2021
Mu (B.1.621)159+36 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–September 25, 2021. 
  • From January 16–September 25, 2021, 41 deaths, 156 hospitalizations, and 11,497 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 47,996 cases, 1,201 hospitalizations, and 242 deaths were reported.
  • 76% of all cases, 87% of all hospitalizations, and 83% of deaths among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years from January 16–September 25, 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 among Alaskan residents can also be found in the monthly report.
  • 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

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

COVID-19 Communication Resources

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.

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 of the cases attributed to the most recent week will be attributed to the previous week.

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 of the cases attributed to the most recent week will be attributed to the previous week.

Additional informational resources:

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

Assembly Ordinance Passed Requiring Use of a Face Covering in Certain Indoor Settings and Providing a Penalty

On September 28, 2021 the City and Borough of Sitka Assembly passed ordinance 2021-32 requiring the use of a face covering in certain indoor settings and providing a penalty until March 22, 2022, when the risk level as defined by the Sitka Emergency Operations Center is in high risk level.

The following is required: All individuals must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are indoors in public settings or communal spaces outside the home.

Click below to read details on conditions, settings, employment requirements, exceptions, and enforcement policy.

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: September 12 – September 18, 2021

Alaska Weekly Update

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update
September 12 — September 18, 2021

Intermediate Statewide transmission
Rt 1.1
HIGH Statewide alert status 781.9HIGH ALERT Hospital capacityHIGH Test positivity
9.6%
62.5%
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 September 18th and September 19th due to high volumes of both COVID and non-COVID patients.Red->5%
Orange- 2-5%
Yellow- <2%
This includes people with at least one dose. Estimated AK population 12 and older of 607,022 from the AK Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Case Trends

  • The number of reported COVID-19 cases in Alaska continued last week on an upwards trajectory.
  • Alaska currently has the highest number of cases in the last seven days per 100,000 population among the 50 states.
  • Alaska currently has more people hospitalized with COVID-19 than were hospitalized with COVID-19 at the peak of the previous surge in late November and early December 2020.
  • Among the 50 states, Alaska had the tenth largest percentage increase in number of persons hospitalized with COVID-19 over the past two weeks.
  • Hospitalizations are continuing to occur in younger Alaskans, with the median age of persons hospitalized due to COVID-19 in 2021 being 6 years younger than in 2020.
  • Among those hospitalized due to COVID-19 and with specimen collection dates from January 16, 2021 through September 18, 2021, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients had a median age about 16 years younger than fully vaccinated patients.
  • 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.

  • 5,459 cases were reported in Alaskans between September 12–September 18. This is a 32.8% increase from the week before.
  • High levels of COVID-19 transmission are occurring in Alaska communities that are on the road system.
    • Per capita incidence rates in Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Fairbanks North Star Borough have rapidly increased over the past few weeks and now equal or exceed rates in Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
    • Rates in Juneau are quite high as well.
  • The 7-day test-positivity rate in Alaska is continuing to climb and is the highest it has ever been, indicating widespread community transmission and the need for more testing.
  • While 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.
  • Several factors are likely contributing to Alaska’s current surge:
    • The Delta variant
    • Vaccination rates (Alaska currently ranks 35th out of the 50 US states in terms of the proportion of the population that is fully vaccinated)
    • Waning immunity (both vaccine-induced and infection-induced immunity)
    • The degree to which people are engaging in community mitigation efforts to slow the spread, such as masking, social distancing, indoor ventilation, testing, isolation, and quarantine.

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 includes but is 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 AreaAlert Level
August 30
Alert Level
September 7
Alert Level
September 13
Alert Level
September 20
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality1,314454.71,399484.11,571543.72,570889.4
Fairbanks North Star Borough337346.9537552.7628646.4733754.4
Juneau City and Borough142446.9158497.3100314.7250786.8
Kenai Peninsula Borough406688.9471799.2275466.6369626.1
Matanuska-Susitna Region411383.0667621.6741690.6771718.5
Nome Census Area1291,320.524245.731317.323235.4
North Slope Borough68695.91982,026.42422,476.72552,609.8
Northwest Arctic Borough54712.158764.929382.454712.1
Chugach Census Area22325.921311.126385.124355.5
Copper River Census Area14518.7*23852.225926.316592.8*
Denali Borough6332.2*10553.7*5**9498.3*
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area24346.022317.138547.851735.2
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area19376.7*23456.031614.630594.8
Haines Borough20793.79357.1*6238.1*16634.9*
Petersburg Borough8250.9*4**0**2**
Sitka City and Borough32375.513152.5*10117.3*31363.7
Skagway Municipality3**1**2**1**
Wrangell City and Borough22924.86252.2*4**1**
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon4**4**1**4**
Ketchikan Gateway Borough97709.288643.468497.269504.5
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area21344.838624.023377.729476.2
Bethel Census Area147822.7110615.6148828.3178996.2
Kusilvak Census Area35432.734420.429358.656692.4
Aleutians East Borough3**9307.7*4**2**
Aleutians West Census Area8144.3*20360.88144.3*6108.2*
Dillingham Census Area38796.1641,340.938796.144921.9
Kodiak Island Borough66523.449388.549388.586681.9
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula5**7289.3*2**18743.8*
Statewide3,455474.04,067558.04,137567.65,699781.9

*Rates based on <20 observations are statistically unreliable and should be used with caution.
**Rates based on <6 observations are not reported.

Vaccination Status

  • Anyone aged ≥12 years in Alaska is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you have received an initial dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to get your second dose too. Scientific studies have shown that two doses of an mRNA vaccine are more effective than one dose of an mRNA vaccine, especially against emerging variants of concern.
  • CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of an mRNA vaccine.
  • Vaccinated persons with immunocompromising conditions should discuss with their health care providers the need for additional personal protective measures.
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322.
  • To find clinics in your area you can visit vaccines.gov or text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish.
  • The Alaska vaccine dashboard is available online for the most up-to-date data.

Borough/Census Area Vaccination Coverage

This is the percent of Alaskans aged ≥12 years who received one or more doses of vaccine.

Borough/Census AreaSeptember 21
Aleutians East Borough88.8%
Aleutians West Census Area74.6%
Anchorage Municipality66.6%
Bethel Census Area79.0%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula91.8%
Denali Borough72,4%
Dillingham Census Area64.4%
Fairbanks North Star Borough54.3%
Haines Borough73.5%
Juneau City and Borough84.2%
Kenai Peninsula Borough51.8%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough70.7%
Kodiak Island Borough72.5%
Kusilvak Census Area82.8%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough45.2%
Nome Census Area84.6%
North Slope Borough41.1%
Northwest Arctic Borough68.0%
Petersburg Borough68.6%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area70.2%
Sitka City and Borough83.2%
Skagway Municipality87.1%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area37.5%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area66.0%
Wrangell City and Borough66.0%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon80.0%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area82.5%
Statewide62.5%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 77 to 2,211. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 21% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of September 21, 2021.
  • On September 18th, there were 201 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 2.9% decrease relative to the week before when there were 207 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 14 to 459. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during September 12–September 18 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.

Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied

Variant Tracking

The most recent Alaska COVID Genomic Surveillance report was released on September 21st.

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Alpha (B.1.1.7)457+420 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)7408 February 2021
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)2245+60130 May 2021
 
Variants of InterestCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Epsilon (B.1.427/429)139024 December 2020
Eta (B.1.525)1016 March 2021
Iota (B.1.526)2404 February 2021
Mu (B.1.621)156+76 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.
  • The updated VB data are among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years with a specimen collection date from January 16–September 18, 2021. 
  • From January 16–September 18, 2021, 20 deaths, 135 hospitalizations, and 9,220 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 41,539 cases, 1,104 hospitalizations, and 161 deaths were reported.
  • 78% of all cases, 88% of all hospitalizations, and 88% of deaths among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years from January 16–September 18, 2021 were in people who were not fully vaccinated. 
  • Specimens from VB infections are described in the weekly Alaska Genomics Report. More detailed information about hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccine breakthrough infections among Alaskan residents can also be found in the monthly report.
  • Age-adjusted per capita rates of COVID-19 cases by vaccination status are updated weekly. Many COVID-19 cases with specimen collection in the immediate past weeks (indicated by the grey box) may have not yet been reported or counted.

  • Age-adjusted per capita rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status are updated monthly. Alaska residents who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than those who are not fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 Communication Resources

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

Cases by Week of Onset and Age

Cases by Week of Onset and Race

Additional informational resources:

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

NEWS RELEASE: September 22 Unified Command Meeting

UNIFIED COMMAND DISCUSSES DASHBOARD AND BOOSTERS

SITKA, September 22, 2021 – Incident Commander Craig Warren stated it had been two weeks since Unified Command had met. He reported continued comments to field citizen concerns with the updated City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) COVID-19 Dashboard especially with the 14 positive COVID-19 cases from yesterday. He told of many questions surrounding if the positive cases were from travelers or secondary or community spread to know where in town it was taking place and know where to stay away from. He reminded that the metrics had always been provided by Public Health and the State Department of Health and Social Services Section of Epidemiology and the data was the only numbers Sitka would receive.

Public Health Nurse, Denise Ewing relayed the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee met to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine booster and review the data. Based on the scientific evidence available including safety and effectiveness data, the committee voted to recommend Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters to limited groups. She said the recommendation would be discussed at the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting scheduled September 22 and 23, which anticipated further guidance for boosters and the CDC authorizing boosters for limited groups. She stated then Alaska providers would be able to provide booster vaccines to those specific groups. She stated more details and information would be out next week. To keep updated visit covidvax.alaska.gov. She said as we work on mitigation strategies and staying current with vaccines, she also urged all to not ignore six simple basics: stay active, get adequate sleep, pay attention to diet and nutrition, health care maintenance, cope with stress and anxiety, and to stay connected.

Thor Christianson, Logistics reported no issues with being able to get medical supplies although some brands were not available.

Public Information Officer Melissa Henshaw reported fewer inquiries and concerns of the changes to the CBS COVID-19 Dashboard and a few social media posts for when new information was available along with reminders of the recommended mitigation.

Janelle Vanasse, Superintendent of Mt. Edgecumbe High School (MEHS) reported continued implementation of their mitigation plan. She stated there were some positive COVID-19 cases that were caught through a combination of testing from those identified as close contacts as well as screening testing but that it had been contained and the mitigation plan had been working as designed. They were happy to be fully in person and continued to have quality education while mitigating COVID-19 and able to take care of students that needed to be isolated or quarantined.

Sitka School District (SSD) Superintendent Frank Hauser reported what had appeared to be a Labor Day spike in cases and relayed they had their first active COVID-19 cases connected to SSD buildings two weeks ago. He said it was students and/or vaccinated staff that had tested COVID-19 positive. The SSD website had a list of schools and cases which would continue to be updated. He reminded that COVID-19 was contracted from many situations and locations including travel, family, friends, or out in the community and they had couple of the students come to school with COVID-19 symptoms. The SSD contacted parents of the schools according to notification procedures (available for review on their website) and stated if parents were not contacted then their student was not in contact with any of the COVID-19 positive individuals. He asked that everyone keep students’ home if they were sick or if anyone in the household or among close contacts were sick. Several of the positive cases were identified using new screening testing. To date, they had tested hundreds of students along with staff and would continue to provide testing to bring students and staff back into buildings safely.

He stated the COVID-19 testing permission form could be found on the SSD website which could be filled out and returned to the office. Schools test weekly and the schedule was on page two of the form. The COVID-19 positive cases connected to buildings currently represent not even 1% of the student population. In contrast, those Alaskan districts that started school without masking, reported 10 times the COVID-19 positive cases and multiple school closures though most have switched to masking. SSD layered mitigations including masking and testing helped to identify and isolate positive cases and bring students back to in person learning safely. Several of the cases listed on the website would come off this week as those individuals would have competed their isolation period. Information on the SSD website would continue to be updated Monday through Friday, visit https://www.sitkaschools.org/.

Anne Davis, Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) reported continued remote work for staff, their offices remained closed unless by appointment, and staff was being tested every two weeks.

Henshaw relayed for Trish White, Harry Race Pharmacist of continued COVID-19 vaccine clinics on Friday mornings. The public may sign up at http://www.sitkapharmacies.com.

Finance Section Chief Melisa Haley reported meeting with FEMA to go over the projects that had mostly been paid out with the exception of one pending. She said there were admin fees to submit, but that once submitted it forced all projects closed and we would no longer be able to submit for reimbursement. She was leaning toward not submitting to allow for flexibility. She said that unless incurring significant expenses, it would not be worth the time to pursue federal funding, but that it was something to look into.

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.

# # #

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Case Update: September 5 – September 11, 2021

Case Trends

  • The number of reported COVID-19 cases in Alaska continued last week on an upwards trajectory.
  • Alaska currently has more people hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to any other time during the pandemic.  
    • Among the 50 states, Alaska had the fourth largest percentage increase in number of persons hospitalized with COVID-19 over the past two weeks.
    • Hospitalizations are continuing to occur in younger Alaskans, with the median age of persons hospitalized due to COVID-19 in 2021 being 6 years younger than in 2020.
    • Among those hospitalized due to COVID-19 and with specimen collection dates from January 16, 2021 through September 11, 2021, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated patients had a median age more than 15 years younger than fully vaccinated patients.
    • 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.
  • 4,132 cases were reported in Alaskans between September 5–September 11. This is a 0.49% increase from the week before.
  • High levels of COVID-19 transmission are occurring in Alaska communities that are on the road system.
    • Per capita incidence rates in Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Fairbanks North Star Borough have rapidly increased over the past few weeks and now equal or exceed rates in Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
    • Rates in Juneau are quite high as well.
  • The 7-day test-positivity rate in Alaska is continuing to climb and is the highest it has ever been, indicating widespread community transmission and the need for more testing.
  • While 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.
  • Several factors are likely contributing to Alaska’s current surge:
    • The Delta variant
    • Vaccination rates (Alaska currently ranks 34th out of the 50 US states in terms of the proportion of the population that is fully vaccinated)
    • Waning immunity (both vaccine-induced and infection-induced immunity)
    • The degree to which people are engaging in community mitigation efforts to slow the spread, such as masking, social distancing, indoor ventilation, testing, isolation, and quarantine.

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 includes but is 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 AreaAlert Level
August 23
Alert Level
August 30
Alert Level
September 7
Alert Level
September 13
CountRateCountRateCountRateCountRate
Anchorage Municipality1,169404.51,314454.71,399484.11,571543.7
Fairbanks North Star Borough199204.8337346.9537552.7628646.4
Juneau City and Borough154484.7142446.9158497.3100314.7
Kenai Peninsula Borough394668.5406688.9471799.2275466.6
Matanuska-Susitna Region406378.4411383.0667621.6741690.6
Nome Census Area1371,402.41291,320.524245.731317.3
North Slope Borough59603.868695.91982,026.42422,476.7
Northwest Arctic Borough55725.354712.158764.929382.4
Chugach Census Area42622.122325.921311.126385.1
Copper River Census Area14518.7*14518.7*23852.225926.3
Denali Borough5**6332.2*10553.7*5**
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area9129.7*24346.022317.138547.8
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area13257.7*19376.7*23456.031614.6
Haines Borough391,547.620793.79357.1*6238.1*
Petersburg Borough1**8250.9*4**0**
Sitka City and Borough53621.832375.513152.5*10117.3*
Skagway Municipality5**3**1**2**
Wrangell City and Borough14588.5*22924.86252.2*4**
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon5**4**4**1**
Ketchikan Gateway Borough75548.497709.288643.468497.2
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area35574.721344.838624.023377.7
Bethel Census Area113632.4147822.7110615.6148828.3
Kusilvak Census Area40494.635432.734420.429358.6
Aleutians East Borough3**3**9307.7*4**
Aleutians West Census Area11198.4*8144.3*20360.88144.3*
Dillingham Census Area37775.238796.1641,340.938796.1
Kodiak Island Borough90713.766523.449388.549388.5
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula2**5**7289.3*2**
Statewide3,180436.33,455474.04,067558.04,137567.6

*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 ≥12 years in Alaska is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you have received an initial dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to get your second dose too. Scientific studies have shown that two doses of an mRNA vaccine are more effective than one dose of an mRNA vaccine, especially against emerging variants of concern.
  • CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of an mRNA vaccine.
  • Vaccinated persons with immunocompromising conditions should discuss with their health care providers the need for additional personal protective measures.
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322.
  • To find clinics in your area you can visit vaccines.gov or text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish.
  • The Alaska vaccine dashboard is available online for the most up-to-date data.

Borough/Census Area Vaccination Coverage

This is the percent of Alaskans aged ≥12 years who received one or more doses of vaccine.

Borough/Census AreaSeptember 14
Aleutians East Borough88.4%
Aleutians West Census Area74.4%
Anchorage Municipality65.9%
Bethel Census Area78.1%
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula91.3%
Denali Borough71.6%
Dillingham Census Area64.1%
Fairbanks North Star Borough53.8%
Haines Borough73.4%
Juneau City and Borough83.8%
Kenai Peninsula Borough51.4%
Ketchikan Gateway Borough70.4%
Kodiak Island Borough71.7%
Kusilvak Census Area82.2%
Matanuska-Susitna Borough44.7%
Nome Census Area84.3%
North Slope Borough40.5%
Northwest Arctic Borough67.6%
Petersburg Borough68.5%
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area69.5%
Sitka City and Borough82.8%
Skagway Municipality86.9%
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area37.0%
Valdez-Cordova Census Area65.4%
Wrangell City and Borough65.4%
Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon79.7%
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area82.3%
Statewide61.9%

New Hospitalizations and Deaths

  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased by 75 to 2,134. Hospitalization reports often lag when a case was initially reported.
  • 20.4% of hospitalized patients in Alaska had COVID-19 as of September 14, 2021.
  • On September 11th, there were 207 persons with COVID-19 in AK hospitals, which is a 22.5% increase relative to the week before when there were 169 persons hospitalized.
  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths among Alaska residents increased by 8 to 445. It is common to take some time for a death to be reported and verified, and deaths that occurred during September 5–September 11 may be reported in the future after death certificates are reviewed.

Total Confirmed COVID Beds Occupied

Variant Tracking

The most recent Alaska COVID Genomic Surveillance report was released on September 14th.

Variants of ConcernCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Alpha (B.1.1.7)453+120 December 2020
Beta (B.1.351)7020 March 2021
Gamma (P.1/P.1.1/P.1.2)7408 February 2021
Delta (B.1.617.2-like)1644+20630 May 2021
 
Variants of InterestCases IdentifiedChange from Previous ReportFirst Identified in Alaska
Epsilon (B.1.427/429)139024 December 2020
Eta (B.1.525)1016 March 2021
Iota (B.1.526)2404 February 2021
Mu (B.1.621)149+26 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.
  • The updated VB data are among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years with a specimen collection date from January 16–September 11, 2021. 
  • From January 16–September 11, 2021, 18 deaths, 117 hospitalizations, and 7,429 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 36,422 cases, 966 hospitalizations, and 142 deaths were reported.
  • 80% of all cases, 88% of all hospitalizations, and 87% of deaths among Alaska residents aged ≥12 years from January 16–September 11, 2021 were in people who were not fully vaccinated. 
  • Specimens from VB infections are described in the weekly Alaska Genomics Report. More detailed information about hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccine breakthrough infections among Alaskan residents can also be found in the monthly report.
  • Age-adjusted 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) have not yet been reported or counted.
  • Age-adjusted per capita rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status are updated monthly. Alaska residents who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than those who are not fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 Communication Resources

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

Cases by Week of Onset and Age

Cases by Week of Onset and Race

Additional informational resources:

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