Teaser

City reports ‘significant’ increase in new COVID cases

Increase likely driven by omicron variant; no new hospitalizations shared.

The City and Borough of Juneau on Wednesday reported 147 new local COVID-19 cases between Dec. 22 and Dec.28.

That figure, which includes 139 residents and 8 nonresidents, represents “a significant increase over recent trends,” according to the city. There are about 156 active cases citywide, according to Juneau Public Health.

State data show 138 COVID-19 cases among residents reported for Juneau the week of Dec. 28, while 44 such cases were reported the week of Dec. 21. The Dec. 28 one-week figure is the highest weekly total for reported resident cases in the capital city since late October, according to state data, but still well short of totals in late September. The last two weeks of September saw 265 and 245 cases reported for Juneau, respectively.

Deputy City Manager Robert Barr said in an email he did not have exact figures, but anecdotally some people who have tested positive at home using rapid antigen tests have called in to Juneau Public Health to report having tested positive.

“Sometimes those folks opt to go get a confirmatory PCR test and it gets counted in the numbers, sometimes they don’t,” Barr said.

Self-tests are freely available at the City Hall cash office, all public libraries, Juneau Public Health Center and Juneau Police Station, according to the city. At this time, there is a two-test-per-family limit.

Genomic sequencing, which allows for identification of variants, lags case reports by two to three weeks, but given national trends, the city said in a news release it’s reasonable to expect the recent increase is due in part to holiday travel and the spread of the omicron variant.

The city advises people who are eligible for a vaccine booster to seek one. Vaccines are available at local pharmacies, the Juneau International Airport —although not on New Year’s Day —and at the Juneau Public Health Center. Appointments can be made online through https://juneau.org/covid-19/vaccine-information. Over 73% of Juneau’s total population and over 77% of its eligible population are fully vaccinated, according to city data.

No one is currently hospitalized with COVID-19 at Bartlett Regional Hospital, according to the city.

Statewide, 469 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths among residents were reported on Wednesday.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 8

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Juneau Assembly members and other visitors examine a meeting room formerly used by the nine-member Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development on Monday, April 8, which is about 25% larger than the Assembly Chambers at City Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Of three possible new City Hall buildings, one stands out — but plenty of proposed uses for other two

Michael J. Burns Building eyed as city HQ; childcare, animal shelter among options at school sites.

Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, speaks to members of the Senate majority caucus’ leadership group on Friday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Schools, university and projects across Alaska are set to receive money from new budget bill

Alaska Senate sends draft capital budget to House as work continues on a state spending plan

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska judge strikes down state’s cash payments to families using correspondence school programs

Decision will become a ‘hot-button legislative item’ in final weeks of session, lawmakers say.

A statue of William Henry Seward stands outside the Dimond Courthouse in downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau man convicted of sexual abuse of 15-year-old girl more than four years after incidents occur

JPD: Randy James Willard, 39, sent explicit videos to and engaged in sexual contact with victim.

Capital Transit buses stop at the Valley Transit Center on Thursday. Two bus routes serving areas of the Mendenhall Valley and near the airport will temporarily be discontinued starting April 22 due to lack of staff. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Capital Transit temporarily suspending two Mendenhall Valley routes due to shortage of drivers

Officials hope to fix situation by July; extra tourist buses also scaled back due to fleet shortage.

A fenced lot proposed as a campsite for people experiencing homelessness located next to the city’s cold weather emergency shelter, in the background, is also next door to a businesses where extensive construction is scheduled, thus prompting city leaders to rethink the proposal. (Photo by Laurie Craig)
Indefinite ‘dispersed camping’ for homeless proposed by city leaders due to lack of suitable campsite

Proposed Rock Dump site is next to long-term construction, more costly than expected, report states.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, April 10, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, watches as the tally board in the Alaska House of Representatives shows the vote against House Joint Resolution 7 on Thursday. Eastman supported the amendment. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House votes down constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

Guarantee had been discussed as part of long-term plan to bring state expenses in line with revenue.

Most Read