The Kodiak Emergency Services Council announced one new positive COVID-19 case on Wednesday, bringing the island’s active case total to 36. 

The person who contracted the virus is a resident who recently traveled. 

“Contact tracing investigations are underway. Health care staff will remain in contact with the individuals to ensure continued self-isolation and care,” said the ESC in a press release. 

This new case brings Kodiak’s total cases, recovered and active, to 138, with 38 of them occurring in the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 413 new positive cases statewide on Tuesday, 405 of whom were residents and eight nonresidents. 

This brought this week’s state total to 2,602 cases, a 29% increase over last week. It’s the fifth week in a row that more cases were reported in Alaska than any previous week. In addition, increases in testing are not keeping up with increases in cases. 

With cases rising in Kodiak and around Alaska, state officials predict that numbers will continue to accelerate over the next week. News cases are expected to double again within the next two to three weeks, if not sooner. 

Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel) and Rep. Zack Fields (D-Anchorage) have said that Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration is not doing enough to prevent the spread of the virus. 

“The Dunleavy administration … has failed to enact basic statewide protective measures that we know are effective, like a temporary mask mandate in places where social distancing is difficult, implementing capacity limits in public places, and issuing workplace safety standards,” they said in a press release on Friday. 

They also said the administration has failed to attend most of the seven COVID-19 oversight hearings held by the state Legislature. During the hearings, medical providers, public health experts and frontline workers have urged the state to issue a mask mandate and workplace safety standards.

“The administration attended only two of the hearings during the pandemic and has not acted on any of these recommendations,” said the press release. The governor was not available for a comment at the time of publication. 

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases are increasing in both urban and rural regions throughout Alaska. The largest increase in cases occurred in the Anchorage Municipality, which averaged 178 new cases a day this week, said the department in a press release. 

The department also said the largest increase in case rates was in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region, which averaged 25 new cases a day this week, with the Mat-Su Borough coming in second with an average of 59 new cases a day.

The department has launched a new webinar program called ECHO every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. The public can ask health experts questions during the webinars, which can be watched on Facebook. 

Participants will include Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink and Chief Epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin, among others. 

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