COVID-19 Update: Aug. 2, 2021

A simulated image of a novel coronavirus particle. Image courtesy of Fusion Medical

Seven novel coronavirus cases were reported in Cordova from July 30-Aug. 1, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced. Of those cases, all seven were residents.

A cumulative total of 275 coronavirus cases have been reported in Cordova, of which 253 have been Alaska residents and 22 have been non-residents, according to DHSS data. A cumulative total of four people who tested positive for the virus have been hospitalized in Cordova. A total of one person who tested positive for the virus has died in Cordova.

Fifty-three percent of people in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area have received at least one dose of novel coronavirus vaccine, according to DHSS data. Sixty-three percent of people age 12 and over in the census area have received at least one dose of vaccine.

The city of Cordova stopped publishing local COVID-19 vaccination numbers, cumulative case counts, death and hospitalization counts, and some other figures to its online dashboard July 20. The decision to stop publishing local vaccination numbers was made after Cordova Community Medical Center staff grew concerned the figures could be misleading because it is difficult to determine how many patients are actually year-round residents of Cordova, City Manager Helen Howarth said July 27. A release published Monday, Aug. 2 by the city attributed the decision to reduce information on the dashboard to various factors. Cumulative case counts do not give a sense of Cordova’s natural immunity, because many people included are no longer part of the community, the release said. Publishing a cumulative death count does not improve community safety, the release said. Publishing hospitalization data risks not protecting individual privacy, while providing no increase in community safety, the release said.

Local health facilities do not believe further disclosure improves community safety or protection from this outbreak, the release said. The release is available in its entirety online.

Several states scaled back their reporting of COVID-19 statistics in July. Iowa and South Dakota shifted from daily to weekly reporting, and Nebraska stopped reporting infection data entirely for two weeks after Gov. Pete Ricketts declared an end to the state’s virus emergency, according to Associated Press reports. On the other hand, some governments have begun releasing more information. In late July, Washington, D.C., added a dashboard tracking the number of residents who contracted the virus after being vaccinated.