Sitka’s COVID-19 community level is at “high” for the third week in a row. That’s according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday (7-7-22). 

The state updates its COVID-19 counts weekly on Wednesdays. Then on Thursdays, the CDC issues its report, updating the community alert status for cities around the country.

Sitka’s case count has remained relatively steady, with 30 cases reported two weeks ago, and 33 cases reported over the last week (based on data collected from June 28 to July 5). To shift to high in mid-June, would likely mean at least one person was hospitalized with the virus. KCAW has reached out to state health officials and the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, but so far has been unable to confirm how many, if any, Sitkans are currently hospitalized. 

According to a memo from the Alaska Department of Health, Alaska saw an eight percent increase in the number of coronavirus cases last week (web: between June 26 and July 2), and while hospitalizations remain below the peak of the Omicron wave statewide, they have “increased substantially” throughout the state since mid-April. Nearly all of the cases in Alaska are “omicron” and by mid-June the highly contagious BA.5 variant accounted for over 41% of COVID cases in Alaska.   

Since the start of the pandemic, Sitka has reported 2958 COVID cases, 29 hospitalizations, and six deaths. 

For communities in the red, the CDC recommends wearing a well-fitting mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status, and testing for COVID if you have symptoms, as well as more strenuous recommendations for those at risk of illness or who are immunocompromised.