Understanding Sitka’s Case Rate

Sitka Unified Command’s color-coded “alert system” is in place to keep the public informed on Sitka’s COVID-19 infection rate. One aspect of the alert system is case rate. The chart below breaks down case rate for each alert level. Sitka’s current case rate, as of 5pm on April 19, was 0.64.

To find out Sitka’s current alert level, case rate, and other data, visit the CBS COVID-19 Dashboard at https://cityofsitka.org/.

Travel Healthy Travel Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines are one of the best tools available for personal and public health safety. More than 47% of eligible Alaskans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and we encourage our visitors to vaccinate before their trip as well.

Learn more about the State of Alaska’s guidance for travelers: www.AlaskaSafeTravels.com

Learn more about community-specific travel considerations: bit.ly/2RDtrMV

Sitka Unified Command Strongly Recommends Testing When Traveling

Testing remains a critical tool to help control the spread of COVID-19, and to help detect variants of the virus. As of April 6, about 65% of Sitka’s population had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. That’s great progress however we still have a ways to go before more Sitkans are protected against the virus.

The CDC recommends against travel at this time because it increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. However, we recognize travel is important to Sitkans. If you do travel, please test 72 hours prior to your return flight or use the free testing at the airport upon arrival. A second test 5-14 days after travel is available, free of charge, at the Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport from 5:30pm to 6:30pm daily.

Learn more about the State of Alaska’s guidance for travelers at www.AlaskaSafeTravels.com.

For CDC travel guidance, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html?fbclid=IwAR3Qf2MqJhZPQaXEbs-dmqlaJ9dJyFft1ktUeG366ftHyy-LYJAzFMo3uRU

Remain Vigilant, Sitka!

We’re approaching the end of this pandemic, thanks to the hard work of Alaskans, but we must remain vigilant.

While COVID-19 vaccines add another layer of protection, it is critical to continue to mask up in public, keep 6 feet from others and avoid gatherings with individuals who are not fully vaccinated, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At this time, there is still community transmission occurring in many communities.

Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, keep at least 6 feet apart, keep your circles small–and vaccinate.

COVID-19 Resources:

CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services https://covid19.alaska.gov/

CBS COVID-19 Dashboard: https://cityofsitka.org/

CDC Webpage: Pause In Use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC has a new webpage to answer your questions about the recommended pause in the use the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Find it here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/JJUpdate.html

Here is what important to know if you recently received the J&J COVID-19 vaccine:

➡️ If you received the vaccine more than three weeks ago, the risk of developing a blood clot is likely very low at this time.

➡️ If you received the vaccine within the last three weeks, your risk of developing a blood clot is also very low and that risk will decrease over time.

➡️ Contact your healthcare provider and seek medical treatment urgently if you develop any of the following symptoms:
• severe headache
• backache
• new neurologic symptoms
• severe abdominal pain
• shortness of breath
• leg swelling
• tiny red spots on the skin
• new or easy bruising

If you are scheduled to get the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, please work with your vaccine provider to reschedule your appointment to receive another authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccine. There are two other COVID-19 vaccines authorized and recommended for use in the United States: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

If you experience any adverse events after vaccination, report them to v-safe and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
v-safe: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html

VAERS: https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html

CDC webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/JJUpdate.html

Sitka’s COVID-19 Alert Level: Moderate

April 16, 2021

Sitka’s COVID-19 alert level remains at MODERATE.

The following mitigation guidance is recommended:

•Masks/face coverings encouraged when 6 feet of distance can’t be maintained from others, this is for outdoors and indoor public spaces

•Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet

•Outdoor events are encouraged; gatherings of more than 100 people indoors is not recommended

•Restaurants: indoor capacity reduced to maintain 6 feet of distance, delivery or carryout preferred, employees encouraged to mask

•Bars: indoor capacity reduced to 50%, encourage outdoor serving – must meet requirements of SGC 10.44.080(A), employees encouraged to mask

Stay up-to-date by visiting the CBS COVID-19 Dashboard at https://cityofsitka.org/. The Dashboard is updated weekdays by 5pm.

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Weekly Case Update April 4-10, 2021

Brief Status Report

  • Daily case rates decreased slightly from last week but statewide transmission increased for the third straight week. Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the Matanuska-Susitna regions saw a sustained rise in case rates, while Juneau, Kenai Peninsula, Northern Southeast, and Southern Southeast regions had higher rates than last week.
  • Anyone 16 years or older who lives or works in Alaska is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Alaska was the first state to offer vaccines to everyone over a certain age without prerequisites.
  • Alaska is currently the twelfth most vaccinated state per capita. 52.3% of the State/IHS vaccine allocation so far has been administered.
  • To schedule your vaccine appointment visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322. The call line is staffed Monday-Friday from 9AM-6:30PM and 9AM-4:30PM on weekends. The call line can also be used to answer general questions about vaccine safety and to request appointments to receive a specific type of vaccine. Alaskans receiving health services through a Tribal Health Organization or the Department of Defense should contact those organizations directly to determine their eligibility.
  • Nine new cases of a COVID variants of concern were detected in Alaska during the past week.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Case Trends and Predictions

  • 1,118 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This was a 3.6% decrease from the week before. Case rates decreased in the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna Regions, however case rates increased in the Fairbanks, Juneau, and Kenai regions. Overall, case rates were higher in seven of the State’s eleven regions this week compared with last week.
  • The Anchorage case rate decreased to 22.8 from 25.7 last week. The Matanuska-Susitna case rate decreased to 46.9 from 49.2 last week.
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough increased to 17.0 up from 16.2 the week before. This is the region’s highest case rate since late January. The Juneau case rate increased to 8.1 from 5.4 the week before. The Kenai Peninsula case rate increased to 15.5 from 11.8 last week. Case rates also increased in the Northern Southeast region, 8.1 from 7.4, Northwest Region at 3.7 from 3.2, Southern Southeast region at 6.1 from 5.4, and Southwest region at 10.1 from 5.1.
  • Case rates decreased in the Interior region to 16.6 from 30.0 last week and in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta from to 20.1 from 25.9 last week.
  • The estimated statewide daily growth rate as of April 12, 2021 is 1.12% and new cases are expected to double every 61.99 days based on current modeling.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Regional Case Trends

Behavioral Health RegionCase rates Feb 28–Mar 6Case rates Mar 7– Mar 13Case rates Mar 14– Mar 20Case rates Mar 21– Mar 27Case rates Mar 28– Apr 3Case rates Apr 4– Apr 10
Anchorage Municipality15.016.516.622.025.722.8
Fairbanks North Star Borough15.113.711.713.716.217.0
Interior Region except Fairbanks13.030.047.140.930.016.6
Juneau City and Borough5.86.34.33.85.48.1
Kenai Peninsula Borough6.87.66.26.711.815.5
Matanuska-Susitna Region36.538.536.740.949.246.9
Northern Southeast Region32.617.26.06.37.48.1
Northwest Region4.04.75.34.53.23.7
Southern Southeast Region9.06.14.04.75.46.1
Southwest Region4.54.35.35.65.110.1
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region16.229.734.126.425.920.1
Statewide16.817.817.320.123.522.3

Vaccines Status Update

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update
Reported vaccinations as of April 12, 2021.

New Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths

  • During the week of April 4 through April 10, 2021 1,118 cases were reported in Alaskans last week. This is a 3.6% decrease from the week before for a total of 62,469 cumulative cases reported in Alaskans.
  • Cumulative hospitalizations increased to 1,389 with 8 reported as occurring this week. Hospitalization reports often lag and only 1,370 hospitalizations were reported at this time last week, so there are 19 hospitalizations newly reported this week including ones that began during previous weeks.
  • One new death of an Alaskan resident was reported this week (310 total), though the death occurred prior to this April 4. It is common to take more than a week for a death to be reported, and deaths that occurred during Apr 4-10 may be reported in future as death certificates are reviewed.
  • 33 new nonresident cases were identified this week for a total of 2,633 cases.
COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Variant Tracking

  • 9 new COVID variant cases were detected during the week of Apr 4-10
  • Cumulative list of variants of concern identified in Alaska:
Test datePatient CityAcquisitionVariantWeek identified
12/20/2020AnchorageTravelUK/ B1.1.71/24-1/30
1/13/2021AnchorageTravelUK/ B1.1.72/14-2/20
2/8/2021AnchorageCommunity acquiredBrazil/ P.12/21-2/27
2/8/2021AnchorageSecondaryBrazil/ P.12/28-3/6
2/13/2021AnchorageSecondaryBrazil/ P.14/4-4/10
2/15/2021Eagle RiverSecondaryBrazil/ P.12/28-3/6
2/15/2021AnchorageCommunity acquiredBrazil/ P.12/28-3/6
2/15/2021Eagle RiverCommunity acquiredBrazil/ P.12/28-3/6
3/7/2021JuneauCommunity acquiredUK/ B1.1.74/4-4/10
3/11/2021WasillaTravelUK/ B1.1.73/28-4/3
3/16/2021AnchorageTravelUK/B1.1.74/4-4/10
3/17/2021PetersburgSecondaryUK/ B1.1.74/4-4/10
3/20/2021AnchorageCommunity acquiredSouth Africa/ B.1.3514/4-4/10
3/20/2021OOSTravelUK/ B1.1.74/4-4/10
3/20/2021AnchorageCommunity acquiredUK/ B1.1.74/4-4/10
3/26/2021AnchorageCommunity acquiredUK/ B1.1.74/4-4/10
3/26/2021AnchorageUnder investigationUK/ B1.1.74/4-4/10
  • Alaska’s Public Health Laboratories continue to monitor for variants of concern and are adjusting surveillance practices and public outputs to include the B.1.427 and B.1.429 cases, however they are not yet included in this table

Health Care Capacity

On April 12, 38 Alaskans with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized and 7 were reported to require a mechanical ventilator.

Total Confirmed COVID-19 Beds Occupied

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Age Group

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Race

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Cases by Week Reported and Region

COVID-19 Alaska Weekly Update

Additional informational resources:

Reminder: Vaccine Registration

Barbecues, camping, and fishing will be here before we know it. Choosing to start your COVID-19 vaccination series now means you will be fully vaccinated with extremely strong protection against the virus by Memorial Day weekend. It takes time to build immunity, so getting started now will help maximize summer fun.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Sitkans ages 16 and older are available through Harry Race Pharmacy and SEARHC.

Harry Race Pharmacy: To schedule an appointment, visit https://www.sitkapharmacies.com/covid-19. Those with questions may call 907.966.2102.

SEARHC: Register at https://covid19.searhc.org. Individuals will receive an email from SEARHC to schedule an appointment.

April 14 CDC Advisory Committee Meeting on Immunization Practices

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is meeting today from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Alaska time to review six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in women aged 18-48 years after vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine (Janssen).

These meetings are open to the public.

To watch the meeting: https://www.ustream.tv/channel/VWBXKBR8af4

For more information about ACIP and for today’s meeting agenda: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/index.html