CHARTS YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN MAY SURPRISE YOU
Anchorage, as with all of Alaska, has had great success in keeping the COVID-19 virus at bay.
As expected, the state is seeing rising numbers of cases across Alaska as the summer season led to an opening of the economy and particularly with an influx of seafood workers.
But according to a new chart, the successes are striking. As the number of tests go up, the actual rate of positive tests is declining in Anchorage.
Early in the pandemic, the rate of positives was over 2.6 percent. But today, the rate of positives is down to 1.16 percent as more people are tested in Alaska’s largest city.
Alaska right now has the second-lowest total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States, with Montana as the state with the lowest. As of Saturday, 333 Alaskans are known to currently have the virus in a state with a population of 730,000. That is 0.045 out of every 100 Alaskans.
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, throughout the pandemic, repeated that he would follow the science in his decisions about shutting down or opening the economy of Alaska’s largest city.
Earlier last week he told the Anchorage Assembly that he had a mask mandate ready to go, and on Friday, he said that people in Anchorage were flouting the mask recommendations. He enacted his emergency order.
On Monday, June 29, nearly everyone in the municipality will need to have a face mask covering their airways if they are in a public building or facility with other people. Exemptions include under two-year-olds and those with accepted medical conditions.
The actual number of cases of COVID-19 has risen in Anchorage since May, as shown in the chart above. It was expected as the hunker-down order was lifted.
But the chart below shows the ratio of positives to all tests conducted in the municipality is nearly half of what it was in the spring, as testing increases and restrictions on those who can get tested are loosened.
When Mayor Berkowitz “opened” Anchorage’s economy, the rate of positives was 2.30 (per 100 tests completed). He said that his goal is to “flatten the curve,” and he has expressed grave concerns about hospital capacity.
It appears the curve of cases is actually flat and dropping as a percentage pf tests conducted, but there isn’t a scientific measure that says what “flat” really means to the Anchorage mayor.
Today, there are 11 people in Alaska hospitals who have COVID-19, and just one is on a ventilator, indicating that the person is having serious trouble breathing.
There have been no additional hospitalizations since June 18 — a 10-day period when no COVID-19 patients were admitted to an Alaska hospital:
As for hospital capacity, 822 beds are available in the state, mostly in Anchorage, 113 of the 198 intensive care beds are available, and 320 ventilators are available.
Coronavirus cases world-wide have now exceeded 10 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, and deaths from the virus is close to half a million. Cases across the country are surging, and some states and localities have reversed their steps on reopening their economies.