Department of Health logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Department of Health logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

COVID activity declines statewide for 2nd week

Cases of COVID-19 had surged upward, statewide, beginning in December

Cases of COVID-19 reported by the State Department of Health have declined for the second consecutive week, though cases of the flu have increased for the third consecutive week, according to the department’s Respiratory Virus Snapshot, updated Thursday with data through Jan. 20.

Cases of COVID-19 had surged upward, statewide, beginning in December — matching a trend reported nationally in data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Weekly cases in Alaska reached a peak of 717 on Jan. 6.

As of Jan. 20, the weekly count was 565, still considerably higher than the roughly 150-300 reported each week from August through November.

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the case rate per 100,000 residents has remained steady since rising sharply in December. The rate has held between 35 and 43 since Dec. 23, reported at 37.3 on Jan. 20. Before that rise, the case rate on Nov. 25 was reported to be 8.5.

Though the case rate locally has risen, it hasn’t increased as significantly as other areas of the state such as Anchorage, which jumped from a case rate of 12.8 on Nov. 25 to 112.8 on Jan. 6. They’ve since declined to 85.1 as of Jan. 20.

Flu cases reported locally had been increasing slightly, week over week, since Dec. 16, but the data updated through Jan. 20 shows a decline to a case rate of only 8.5 — far below the local peak of 52.6 reported on Nov. 11.

Cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus have also remained low locally, a rate of 8.5 reported for Jan. 20.

“RSV activity has been low,” the department writes in a seasonal summary.

For more information about COVID-19, influenza or RSV in Alaska, visit health.alaska.gov.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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