Reasons for spike in COVID cases discussed during Juneau City Hall update

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - What’s driving the rise in COVID-19 cases in Juneau and the rest of the state?

    That question was put to a panel of experts at the City and Borough of Juneau COVID Community Update on Tuesday evening
    State epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin said there are two main drivers.

    The first is the Delta variant, which is more transmissible than any other strain.  McLaughlin said the variant is now the predominant circulating strain in the United States and Alaska.  About 56 percent of cases are testing positive for the Delta variant, he said.


    The second reason he said is that people are mixing more and spending a lot more time together as society opens up.  He pointed out that many people both indoors and outdoors are not wearing masks.

    In addition, many people in the state are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

    In Juneau, masks are recommended for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in indoor public spaces.
    The city and borough announced Tuesday that masks are now required in city-owned facilities such as the pools and the libraries, regardless of vaccination status.

    Meanwhile, it is reported that there were 54 people in Juneau who tested positive for COVID-19 between July 4 and the 18.  The release from city hall says that's up 19 from the previous two weeks.

    Nineteen percent, or 16 cases, were associated with the American Constellation cluster.

    At this time, 68.1 of Juneau's population has received at least one dose of vaccine and 64.7 percent has completed the vaccine series.  Ninety-one percent of residents 65 years and over have received at least one dose of vaccine and 88 percent have completed the series.



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