Weekly COVID cases have doubled in Juneau

home COVID-19 tests kits
Juneau received 26,000 of these home test kits for COVID-19 on Jan. 19, 2022. Local families pick up two kits for free. (Photo courtesy of City and Borough of Juneau)

Cases of COVID-19 in Juneau are going up.

The state reports cases each Wednesday. This week, the state reported 347 new COVID-19 cases for Juneau from May 11 to May 17. That’s double the caseload reported from the previous week — an average of 50 cases a day.

That number only includes cases that are reported to the state, so it does not count positive results from home tests.

Juneau’s case count also includes 101 non-resident cases. A few are known to be related to the tourism industry, while the majority are still under investigation.

Cruise ships report COVID-19 data to the state, which on Wednesday indicated that there were 23 cases “at sea” related to tourism for the previous week. Eighty of the 91 cruise ships registered with CDC are in the “Orange” risk category on the CDC dashboard, which means they could have anywhere from seven to hundreds of active COVID-19 cases on board.

On Wednesday, there were six patients being treated for the virus at Bartlett Regional Hospital, and 22 staff members were out due to COVID-19.

The Juneau School District also saw a significant increase, with 129 cases reported over the last two weeks. That comes after Juneau Douglas High School Yadaa.at Kalé and Thunder Mountain High School hosted their proms.

On Wednesday, the City and Borough of Juneau recommended that residents start masking indoors in response to increasing cases. Because the city’s COVID-19 emergency operations ended at the end of April, city officials can no longer mandate mask wearing or any other pandemic mitigation strategies. 

Deputy City Manager Robert Barr said on Friday that there is no plan to recommend that the Juneau assembly reinstate emergency operations at this time. 

Free at-home tests are available at Juneau Public Library locations around town. More accurate PCR tests are available at Capstone Clinic at the Juneau Airport, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Juneau Urgent Care and at Bartlett Regional Hospital. Appointments for tests at the hospital can be made by calling 907-586-6000.

Free vaccine doses including boosters are available at the airport or the Juneau Public Health office as well as at pharmacies around town.

Yvonne Krumrey

Local News Reporter, KTOO

Juneau is built on hidden and assumed layers of power and access, influencing how we interact with identity, with the law and with each other. I bring you stories of the gaps in access to power, and those who are working to close those gaps.

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