Delta variant accounts for 96% of Alaska’s new COVID cases

A person wearing blue gloves draws liquid from a vial into a syringe
A nurse draws a dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine from a vial at a city vaccine clinic at Tikahtnu Commons in Anchorage in August 2021 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska’s state health department says COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in nearly all regions of the state, driven almost entirely by the more deadly and infectious delta variant. 

The delta variant accounted for 96% of all sequenced COVID-19 cases from July 11 to 18, according to the latest genomics report from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said recently that the delta variant can be transmitted by fully vaccinated people, though vaccines are still highly effective at preventing serious illness.

Since January of this year, 94% of all hospitalizations and 97% of all deaths from COVID were among unvaccinated people, according to state data. 

Screenshot from DHSS genomics report

The number of cases in the state rose by 18% last week, and the number of people hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 11%, according to a weekly report from the state health department. It was the seventh week in a row of week-over-week increases in cases.

On Tuesday, a total of 323 Alaskans tested positive for COVID-19 the second-highest daily tally since January. 

The CDC recommends masking up indoors in nearly all of Alaska.

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