Study: More than 80 percent of Alaska COVID-19 cases came from New York City


Call it the “New York City coronavirus.” In Alaska, COVID-19 didn’t originate in Seattle.

A report detailed in the New York Times says that 80 percent of the infections of COVID-19 in Alaska are from the strain of the virus that came through New York City.

It’s a different strain than the one that swept through Seattle. According to the report, no case of coronavirus in Alaska have been associated with the Washington state strain.

The coronavirus infection was so widespread in New York by early March, that the city was the primary source of new infections in many parts of the country. Thousands of travelers going to and from the city took the infections across the country before communities and states knew it was there and had started setting social distancing limits.

The findings are drawn from geneticists’ tracking signature mutations of the virus, travel histories of infected people, and models of the outbreak, the newspaper said.

States such as Arizona, Utah, and Idaho, also saw most of their cases come from New York City travelers. Idaho, Ohio, Iowa, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, and Massachusetts were similar to Alaska in having no cases that were part of the Seattle strain.


  1. That’s very interesting because I know of a few people that actually traveled to New York over Christmas break then came back and also some people that traveled here from New York for work so yeah it could have been going on back then and according to the Chinese it was going on in December.

  2. I would have bet that the majority of Alaska cases would have been from West Coast arrival of the strain directly brought over from China. This is a big change since the mutated form coming through.Italy is more virulent. Finding which strain caused the deaths will be revealing. One point though… an even earlier travel ban from China prior to Washington State deaths would have already been outflanked by European travel to US. It remains to be seen if having had the West Coast strain bestows any immunity to the East Coast/NY version.

  3. Perhaps a good reason to avoid people from New York…? Just asking.

    That said, centuries ago, during times of disease, people were more selective in dealing with people that they did not know (or trust). Today, I suppose that might make someone vulnerable to claims of discrimination of some variety. Fascinating how the pandemic is affecting social interaction.

  4. Pretty sure Covid 19 came here direct from China. Blew through Alaska November December and January. That is why there are almost no cases now. they should do some antibody testing, they might learn a thing or two.

  5. I agree with Robert. The crews of flights from China, including several per week direct from Wuhan, overnighted in Anchorage on a regular basis, sleeping in hotels, eating in restaurants, and shopping in our stores. I know quite a few people who were really sick with what they thought was the flu back in November, and December. COVID-19 likely arrived in Alaska with flight crews very early in the outbreak. We just didn’t have a special name for it at the time.

  6. “Note: Scientists have thus far sequenced only a small fraction of total infections, so the distribution of genetic lines could change as more samples are analyzed. States with fewer than 10 samples were left off the chart. Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Wyoming all had fewer than 20 samples. Percentages may not add up to 100 because additional genetic lines are omitted.”

    Be careful about assumptions. Sampling (7?) in that study is way too small to draw conclusions so far. Alaska = military and lots and lots of travel – Hawaii, Vegas, Cabos, Florida, Thailand…

  7. We went to NJ and NY for Christmas and came back on January 2 (on Alaska Airlines…sorry fellow travelers) very ill. The trip was a blur and I later spent two weeks in bed very ill. I was told that Influenza B was circulating but no way was this the flu. I coughed so hard I caused an abdominal muscle tear. The fever, cough and malaise was terrible but the burning in my throat and lungs was the worst I have ever experienced and my recent antibody (blood) test says it was something else. I think that the blood test failed.

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