Alaska reports about 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 in June

It’s the fewest new cases reported for a single month in a year
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 7:08 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - In June, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in a year. About 1,035 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by the department in case count summary emails.

On the last day of June, the department reported a cumulative total of more than 71,200 cases statewide, including Alaska residents and nonresidents, since the pandemic began.

At just more than 1,000 new cases, June saw about half the number of new cases than there were in May, which had approximately 2,171.

The data shows a big change from November 2020, the month that saw the most new cases of the virus. That count was about 16,221 new cases.

Since the beginning of the year, the monthly counts of new cases have been trending down.

New cases in Alaska by month
New cases in Alaska by month(KTUU)

“I don’t think anybody thinks we’re totally out of the woods yet,” Louisa Castrodale with the Division of Public Health said in a news conference on July 1.

In June, the state started out in the intermediate alert level when it comes to transmission of the virus. But about a week in, the case count dropped low enough that the state moved into the low alert level. Alaska finished out the month at the same status.

Alert levels are broken into high, intermediate and low based on the daily average case rate per 100,000 people over the last 14 days.

“It’s small numbers, a lot of bumps in there,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink about small rises in case numbers putting “bumps” in the data during the same news conference. “Anyone can see that after November, December when we started to come down, kind of around Christmas, there was a little bump up and then it came back down. The overall trend was still down, but we had these kind of little bumps, and it can be hard without hindsight to know exactly which direction those are going.”

While talking about statewide data, Castrodale said the overall trend is low, flat and steady.

“We’re going to keep recommending vaccination, we’re going to keep recommending that people try and minimize their risks as they move around the state and travel,” Castrodale said. “If we see those numbers kind of continue in that way, then call it a trend and go from there.”

By the end of June, the average number of new cases in Anchorage did rise slightly.

Anchorage started June on the low alert level. It stayed there most of the month, but at the end of June, the Anchorage region made its way back into intermediate alert level.

On June 1, the state reported 46% of eligible Alaskans, which are those aged 12 and older, were fully vaccinated. By the end of the month, DHSS said 50% of the same group now has that status.

In June, the department reported eight deaths tied to COVID-19. It said three of them were recent, and the other five were found through routine death certificate review. In May, 22 COVID-19-related deaths were reported. Of those, 10 were the result of death certificate review.

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