New cases of COVID-19 reported Sunday throughout Alaska totaled 231, marking the first day the state has seen a single-day increase of more than 200 cases.
The new cases include 186 Alaskans and 45 non-residents, according to the Department of Health and Social Services. Five more people were hospitalized with COVID-19. There were no new deaths.
Of the new cases announced in residents Sunday, there are 154 cases in Anchorage, nine in Fairbanks, three in Eagle River, two each in North Pole, Palmer, Juneau, Wrangell and an area in the Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon area, and one case each was reported in Chugiak, Homer, the Yukon-Koyukuk area, Houston, Wasilla, Ketchikan, Prince of Wales-Hyder area, Sitka and Unalaska.
There were currently 35 people with COVID-19 who are hospitalized and another eight people who may have the virus.
As of Sunday, Alaska had reported 3,102 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alaska, according to the DHSS coronavirus dashboard. More than two-thirds of the cases are currently active.
Twenty Alaskans have died of the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. There have been 115 Alaskans hospitalized because of COVID-19 since March.
In non-residents, 34 cases were reported in Seward, three in Fairbanks and one in Ketchikan. Seven of the cases were marked as “unknown” by DHSS.
As of Sunday, 950 people in the state have recovered from the virus since the pandemic began, although 2,132 COVID-19 cases are active.
The City and Borough of Juneau announced ahead of the state that 21 seafood processor employees tested positive for COVID-19 Saturday. In total, 61 Alaska Glacier Seafoods employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since July 14. Forty more employees are awaiting test results, the city wrote in an online statement.
The virus was spread through the processing plant by an employee who contracted COVID-19 through community spread, the city wrote.
The seafood employees are all in isolation and contact investigations are ongoing, the city said. The city did another round of testing on the 100 employees on July 22.
The city also announced 16 people tested positive for the virus unrelated to the seafood processing plant Saturday. The cases are likely due to community spread travel and secondary transmission, Public Health Nursing in Juneau said.
“It is paramount that community members remain vigilant in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Mila Cosgrove, emergency operations center incident commander for Juneau. “When you keep at least six feet away from non-family members, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and stay home when you’re sick, you’re not just limiting your own risk, you’re helping to protect the whole community.”
The Anchorage Health Department announced Saturday that there was a COVID-19 exposure on July 17 at the Anchorage Samoan Assembly of God in the Mountain View neighborhood. The department advised people who were at the church on that day should monitor for symptoms for 14 days following the exposure and get tested if they experience even mild symptoms.
This is the first church to be added to the health department’s list of potential exposures. The list also includes bars and restaurants.
Cases have continued to drastically rise throughout Anchorage, statewide and throughout the country. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz restricted capacities on bars, restaurants and entertainment facilities Friday in an attempt to curb the virus from further spreading. The restrictions also limit the number of people allowed to gather in groups.
Sunday marks the city’s highest increase in cases reported in a single day. In Anchorage, 958 people were currently infected with the virus as of Sunday.
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