New - Weekly Alaska Data Summary Monday, June 30th

The State Of Alaska has released a new  weekly report.  This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska from Friday, June 19th through Thurs...

The State Of Alaska has released a new  weekly report. 
This data summary covers COVID-19 in Alaska from Friday, June 19th through Thursday, June 25th, 2020. 

Alaska State Testing update

By Thursday evening,(June 25th), 102,849 tests had been conducted in Alaska. 18,427 of them were performed this week. Test positivity rate for this week was 0.8%, meaning around 8 in every 1000 tests performed came back positive. 

According to a website that tracks national COVID-19 statistics, including testing data, Alaska ranks sixth highest among US states for number of tests per capita. Alaska has the third fewest cases per population. Alaska has also had the fewest deaths due to COVID-19 of any state, and the second-fewest cases. One caveat is that the number of tests includes residents and nonresidents while the population is based on residents only. If nonresidents were included, we would have even fewer cases per population, while we would have slightly fewer tests per capita. Regardless, Alaska compares well to other states in COVID-19 transmission prevention and testing.

New cases

This week saw 111 new cases in Alaskans and 64 in nonresidents, for a total of 835 and 166 respectively. 4 Alaskans required hospitalization this week for COVID-19, for a total of 67 since the epidemic began. Two additional deaths were reported this week. Both deaths occurred in residents of Juneau who were living in long-term care facilities out of state. These deaths occurred in May and were not connected to each other, and are now being included in Alaska case counts. By convention, deaths are counted based on the residency of the patient rather than where they contracted the virus. 

Communities affected this week 

New cases were found in Alaskans who are residents of the following communities:

Anchorage (43), Chugiak (1), and Eagle River (4), for a total of 48 new cases in the Anchorage Municipality
Homer (6), Seward (3), South Kenai Peninsula Borough (1) and North Kenai Peninsula Borough (1), for a total of 11 new cases in the Kenai Peninsula Borough
Fairbanks (17) and North Pole (9), for a total of 26 new cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough
Big Lake (1), Palmer (6), Wasilla (7) and a smaller community (1), for a total of 15 new cases in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough
Juneau (3)
Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula (2)
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area (1)
Ketchikan Gateway Borough (1)
Bethel Census Area (1)
North Slope Borough (1)
Valdez (1)
Nome (1)
Nonresident cases

Of the 64 nonresident cases identified this week, 19 were in the Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Borough, 12 were in the Dillingham Census Area, 8 were in Anchorage Municipality, 

6 in Fairbanks North Star Borough, 4 in Wrangell City and Borough, 3 in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, 3 in Haines Borough, 2 in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, and one each in Bethel Census Area, Denali Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Kodiak Island Borough, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Nome Census Area, and Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area. 

Recovered cases

57 Alaskans recovered from COVID-19 this week, for a total of 521, or 61% of total cases. 

Gatherings and celebrations

Cases increased after the Memorial Day weekend in Alaska and many other states. This week also saw an increase in cases in people under age 40 and several clusters associated with bars; the majority of cases in Alaskans overall have now been in people under age 40. As the Fourth of July weekend is this weekend, it will be important for everyone in Alaska to celebrate responsibly by employing 6-foot physical distancing, hand washing, avoiding sharing food or drinks, gathering outside when possible, and wearing face coverings when around people outside their household bubble. 

Tourism, visitors and airport testing

This week saw 16,754 travelers screened at airports entering Alaska. 6,134 travelers (37%) had undergone testing prior to travel, while 4,941 (29%) opted to be tested on entry. 904 (5%) selected the 14-day quarantine option. The other 4,775 arrivals either left Alaska within 24 hours, provided proof of having recovered from COVID-19 from a physician who certified they were no longer contagious, or were critical infrastructure workers following their company's worker and community protection plan for testing and/or quarantine. 16 new cases were discovered through airport arrival testing, for a test positivity rate of 0.3%. 

Of the 64 cases in nonresidents this week, 7 were linked with tourism or visiting, including 4 in Anchorage, 1 in Fairbanks North Star Borough, 1 in Mat-Su Borough, and 1 in Wrangell City and Borough. 

Nursing homes

One additional case was found after retesting all residents and staff at the Providence Transitional Care Center, for a total of 47 cases among 19 residents and 28 caregivers. A fourth round of testing was completed this week, with results pending. Providence Extended Care, which had one case in a caregiver, announced that the caregiver has recovered and their fifth round of universal testing found no new cases.

Seafood industry

Of 64 nonresident cases total identified this week, 43 are in workers in the seafood industry, including 19 in Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Borough, 12 in Dillingham Census Area, 3 in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, 3 in Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area, 3 in Haines Borough, 2 in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, 1 in Kenai Peninsula Borough and 1 in Anchorage Municipality. Many of the workers were identified during their employer’s testing protocols, and a statement from the City of Dillingham described the 12 seafood workers who had been found to have COVID-19 were in quarantine on the company’s closed campus at the time they were identified. All nonresidents with COVID-19 are quarantined and contact tracing is ongoing for these cases. 

Other industries

5 new cases were found among workers in the mining industry in Fairbanks North Star Borough. 9 additional cases were associated with nonresident workers in industries other than seafood or mining.

Reporting of deaths due to COVID-19

14 Alaskans are reported as having died from COVID-19. Although four of these deaths occurred in Alaskans who acquired the disease in another state and never traveled to Alaska during their illness, they are counted as deaths in our reporting by national convention. In accordance with national standards, case counts for Alaska reflect known cases in all Alaska residents, regardless of where they acquired the infection or where it was discovered. This provides consistency and avoids cases and deaths being double-counted between states. Cases found in Alaska that are not among Alaska residents are reported under nonresident cases. 

Data timeliness and accuracy

Weekly summaries are published early the following week because that gives the state public health workforce time to collect data, verify accuracy, make sure cases have not been counted in multiple places and verify patient identities. This news release is designed to accurately summarize the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub dashboard, which displays same-day or next-day data. The dashboard data occasionally changes as new information is received or as cases are reclassified once verification takes place, since this process takes time. Weekly summaries reflect our most current and complete knowledge about cases in the previous week. 

Further information

Please see the State of Alaska COVID-19 information page for more information about the virus and how individuals and businesses can protect themselves and others from transmission. 

For the most up-to-date case information, see the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub dashboard. Some data may change as more information comes to light through contact tracing and other public health work. 

For questions regarding DHSS COVID response, including mandates and alerts, email covidquestions@alaska.gov. Since DHSS is experiencing a high volume of inquiries, the Frequently Asked Questions webpage can often be the quickest route to an answer regarding testing, travel, health mandates and other COVID-19 information. 

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



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