The Kodiak Emergency Operations Center announced Wednesday that they had confirmed two more cases of COVID-19 on Kodiak. The pair of positive test results brings Kodiak’s total number of cases to 19.
According to the press release announcing the two new cases, the KEOC said both cases were Alaska residents who are close contacts to case number 17. Case number 17, an Alaska resident, travel-related case, was announced Tuesday.
Kodiak went almost two weeks without reporting a new case of the virus before Tuesday, with the last case reported on July 15. There are now three active cases and 16 recovered cases on the island.
Alaska and the rest of the United States have seen a spike in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, said in a press conference on Tuesday that Alaska’s cases had jumped 34% in the past week.
Alaska has now experienced 2,797 cases, with 1,921 — or about 68% — active as of Wednesday. Twenty-two people have died.
With the new rise in cases, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced at a press conference on Tuesday that all non-residents must arrive in the state with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. The change takes effect Aug. 11.
Non-residents will no longer be able to be tested at the airport upon arrival. Alaska residents can still be tested upon arrival. Before the announcement, travelers also had the choice to quarantine for two weeks after arrival. Now a negative test is required.
Dunleavy said the change wasn’t only because new cases were travel related. Rather, he said the state government wants to keep testing supplies in store for Alaskans.
“We’re going to need those supplies to deal with some of the outbreaks here in the state of Alaska,” he said.
“When cases were lower than they are today, just here in the state of Alaska but across the globe, you had less of a restriction on supplies of testing materials and things like PPE. We need to use that for our own folks.”
State health officials reported 91 new cases of COVID-19 statewide on Wednesday, confirmed in 67 new residents and 24 nonresidents.
Five more Alaskans have become sick enough to be hospitalized, bringing the total number of hospitalizations statewide to 125.
The 67 resident cases reported today include 53 residents from the municipality of Anchorage; five from the Kenai Peninsula Borough; four from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough; two from Fairbanks North Star Borough; and one each from the city and borough of Juneau, the Valdez-Cordova Census Area and the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area.
Twenty-four new nonresident cases were included in Wednesday's report, 11 of which are seafood industry workers in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
The other 13 nonresident cases include three other individuals in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, one tourism industry worker and two others; four individuals from the city and borough of Juneau, one seafood industry worker, one visitor and two others; two unknown individuals in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough; one seafood industry worker in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area; and three other individuals in unknown locations at this time.
This brings the total number of nonresidents to 645. It remains unclear at this time how many of these cases are active.
Including the five new hospitalizations, there are 35 individuals statewide who are hospitalized with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and 11 others who are under investigation and await test results.
No new deaths were reported Wednesday.