COVID-19 Update: 36 Cases in Alaska; No new cases in Ketchikan
By Mary KAUFFMAN
March 23, 2020
The ten (10) new cases announced Sunday of COVID-19 were in three Alaska communities – Anchorage (7), the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (2) and Juneau (1). All cases Sunday were in adults; none were hospitalized. All of these persons are isolating themselves at home and their close contacts are being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. One of the Anchorage cases had recent travel outside of Alaska. The remaining cases are not known to be travel-related at this time. The Section of Epidemiology is continuing to investigate these cases in cooperation with Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, the Anchorage Health Department and local public health nurses.
“At least two of the new [Sunday] Anchorage cases that we are investigating have no clearly identified contact with a confirmed case,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaska’s State Epidemiologist. “This indicates that community transmission of COVID-19 appears to be occurring in the Anchorage area.”
Travelers arriving from anywhere outside of Alaska should self-quarantine for 14 days, per the March 20th Alaska Health Alert. Find more information about how to keep yourself and your family healthy at coronavirus.alaska.gov.
According to the Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center (EOC), there have been no new reports of COVID-19 cases in Ketchikan since Saturday, March 21st. The total of positive cases in Ketchikan remains to be six (6).
In keeping with the emergency Ketchikan-Saxman mayoral proclamation issued on March 21st, Ketchikan citizens are strongly urged to hunker down, shelter in place, and stay home, in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Public Health has continued to monitor the individuals who were identified as close contacts to the individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Public Health will notify and isolate additional persons as appropriate. Through the contact investigation, Public Health will direct testing of persons that meet criteria based on contact with any confirmed case of COVID-19. Individuals who meet the criteria are being tested in accordance with CDC and State of Alaska priorities.
After 3 new cases were announced in Ketchikan Saturday, PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Group announced the closing their clinics Monday, March 23, and Tuesday, March 24. The clinic will undergo thorough disinfection after two caregivers tested positive for COVID-19. Those caregivers are now in quarantine at home.
Due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, Ketchikan residents are urged to take this virus seriously and take actions to help stop the spread now.
Edited By Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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