ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTVF) The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) announced Tuesday that there are 22 new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in four Alaska communities – Anchorage (10), Fairbanks (9), North Pole (2) and Bethel (1). This brings the total case count in Alaska to 213.
These new cases were reported from 12:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on April 6 and reflect data posted at noon today on coronavirus.alaska.gov.
The Bethel case is the first for the Bethel census area (Southwest Region) and is associated with out-of-state travel. Alaska Division of Public Health staff are working with Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) staff to complete a thorough contact investigation.
“We are working closely with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and local public health nursing staff to identify people who may have been exposed to this person and offer appropriate testing, isolation, and quarantine guidance,” said Alaska State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin. “We are making every effort to respond earnestly to this situation to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in the region.”
Testing is now available in the region, through efforts from YKHC and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). ANTHC yesterday announced the distribution of 40 rapid testing machines and 2,400 test kits for diagnosing COVID-19 throughout communities in rural Alaska.
“Testing is confidential. Getting tested as soon as possible, when indicated by your provider, is one of the most effective, important ways to help one’s community in preventing the spread of this infection,” said Dr. Jacob Gray, Infectious Disease Physician at the Alaska Native Medical Center. “Practicing physical distancing and excellent hand hygiene will help prevent us from getting COVID-19, and being tested for COVID-19 can be very useful to the individual patient and the community.”
Of the new cases reported today, 12 are male and 10 are female. One case is an individual aged 20-29; five are aged 30-39; three are aged 40-49; seven are aged 50-59; four are aged 60-69; one is an aged 70-79; and one is an aged 80+. There have been 23 total hospitalizations and no new hospitalizations yesterday. A total of six Alaskans have died; there were no new deaths yesterday.
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For the latest information on Alaska’s response to COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.alaska.gov.
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