Fourteen days after Thanksgiving, Kodiak recorded its single highest day of active COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. At least 311 people were sick with the virus on Dec. 10.
Five people eventually died in Kodiak with causes associated with the virus during that spike.
For several weeks, Kodiak was on The New York Times’ list of virus “hotspots,” places where cases were growing fastest as measured by the number of cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period. At one point, the borough was 15th in the nation.
But now, 11 days after New Year’s Eve and 18 days after Christmas, there has not yet been another spike. Active cases have mostly dropped since then. There have been 39 hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic, but no one is in the hospital right now.
As of Monday, there were 49 active cases in Kodiak, still far exceeding any level Kodiak saw before October, but a significant decrease since mid-December nonetheless.
The Emergency Services Council, the body of local leaders responsible for governing the pandemic response, would like to lower the community risk level if cases keep declining.
“We think people have realized the risks of socializing and taken steps to limit those risks,” Meagan Christiansen, a spokesperson for the group, said on Monday.
Currently, Kodiak is in “red,” which means indoor capacity for almost all buildings is restricted to 25% as calculated from the fire marshal occupancy load.
The restrictions apply to “all Kodiak Island businesses and activities, including all retail and service types, indoor recreational activities, bars, restaurants, religious gatherings, grocery and any business or service that is open to the public.”
Exceptions include medical facilities, travel for critical personal need or essential service, child care services, homeless shelters, educational institutions, government agencies and critical infrastructure services such as public utility services.
Seafood processors are governed by state rules, and that does not change in the renewed limits.
The rules first went into effect on Dec. 7 and then were renewed on Dec. 21.
Kodiak’s case numbers are moving in tandem with the rest of Alaska, but not the rest of the U.S.
In early December, Alaska was reporting daily case numbers in the 600 or 700 range. On Monday, the state reported 186 new cases and no new deaths.
Nationwide, meanwhile, hospitalizations are up 11% in the past 14 days, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project, and the trend of new cases reported has tilted upward since the end of October.
Of the 186 new cases reported by the Department of Health and Social Services on Monday, three were non-residents.
Of the other 183, 62 were residents in Anchorage, 27 in Fairbanks, 13 in Bethel, 11 in Wasilla, nine in Bethel Census Area, nine in North Slope Borough, eight in Northwest Arctic Borough, six in Palmer, three in Kenai, three in Kodiak, three in North Pole, two in Eagle River, two in Fairbanks North Star Borough, two in Juneau, two in Kodiak Island Borough, two in Kusilvak Census Area, two in Nome, two in Sitka, two in Soldotna, two in Unalaska, two in Utqiagvik, and one each in Aleutians West Census Area, Big Lake, Chugiak, Denali Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough North, Sterling, Valdez-Cordova Census Area/Copper River, Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area and a location under investigation.