DHSS Press Release: Eight new cases of COVID-19 reported in four Alaska communities; one nonresident case

DHSS Press Release


Contact:   Clinton Bennett, DHSS, (907) 269-4996, clinton.bennett@alaska.gov

Eight new cases of COVID-19 reported in four Alaska communities; one nonresident case identified in Anchorage

June 7, 2020 ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced eight new cases of COVID-19 in four communities: Anchorage (5), Eagle River (1), Homer (1), and Douglas (1). This brings the total number of Alaska cases to 544.

One nonresident case was identified in a seafood industry worker in the Municipality of Anchorage. This brings the total nonresident cases, which are listed separately from the Alaska cases, to 46.

One of the Alaska cases announced today is a crewmember on the Alaska Marine Highway System M/V Tustumena.  The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) provided details about the case in a press release yesterday. DHSS and DOT&PF are working together closely on the investigation and providing health guidance to passengers who traveled on the Tustumena’s route June 1-6. At this time, no passengers have been identified as close contacts to the crewmember, however all passengers are asked to take the following actions for 14 days after they leave the ship:

  • Wear a face covering when in public
  • Minimize exposure to others
  • Monitor for symptoms twice a day and get tested if symptoms arise
  • Consider getting tested 7-14 days after leaving the ship if no symptoms arise

Passengers on board the Tustumena who are returning to Homer will be screened and tested upon their arrival.

The Division of Public Health (DPH) continues to use contact tracing to determine close contacts for this case and will contact any individuals that need to be notified of potential exposure. As the investigation continues and further details are determined, additional guidance may be issued if needed.

“Even with good precautions and protective measures, such as those that are in place on the Alaska Marine Highway System ferries and at our airports, travel during an ongoing pandemic is a risky activity,” said Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. “When deciding whether to travel, I strongly encourage everyone to carefully evaluate their own personal risk level, as well as consider the potential impacts to communities they may visit.”

Of the new Alaska cases, three are male and five are female. Two are aged 20-29; three are aged 30-39; two are aged 40-49 and one is aged 50-59. There have been a total of 48 hospitalizations and 10 deaths with no new hospitalizations or deaths reported yesterday. Recovered cases remain at 382, with no new recovered cases recorded yesterday. A total of 64,904 tests have been conducted.

This report reflects data from 12:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on June 6 that posted at noon today on the Alaska Coronavirus Response Hub. Please note that upon further investigation and interviews, data points for cases – such as the date and residence – may on occasion change on the data dashboard after they are announced.

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