KMXT received this press release on March 25, 2020. It is posted here with minor editing.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this press release reported an incorrect number of Ketchikan cases.
The correct number is three.
Seventeen new cases of COVID-19 detected
March 25, 2020 ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced 17 new positive cases of COVID-19 in four Alaska communities – Anchorage (11), Fairbanks/North Pole (2), Homer (1) and Ketchikan (3).
Most of the cases are still under investigation. Three cases are known to be travel-related and three are close contacts of previously diagnosed individuals. Most individuals are adults, but three are younger adults aged 19-29. This brings Alaska’s total case count to 59.
Of these total cases, three are hospitalized; two were added in this most recent 24-hour period.
“This clearly represents a considerable increase in our cases,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaska’s State Epidemiologist. “In order to slow down the transmission rate, it is imperative that all Alaskans strictly adhere to state and local social distancing directives and also promptly isolate themselves from others if they develop any symptoms of a respiratory infection.”
The case count webpage at coronavirus.alaska.gov now lists cases by community and region, instead of just by region as previously reported. One clarifying note is that the Homer case is an individual who was tested in Anchorage after returning from a trip to the Lower 48; that person has stayed in Anchorage and has not returned to Homer since becoming ill.
So far the communities in Alaska that have had laboratory-confirmed cases include Anchorage (including JBER), Eagle River/Chugiak, Homer, Seward, Soldotna, Sterling, Fairbanks, North Pole, Palmer, Ketchikan and Juneau.
As a reminder, please follow these guidelines to STOP THE SPREAD of COVID-19:
1. Wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes and clean frequently touched surfaces.
2. Keep at least 6 feet away from others. Stay home and work from home as much as possible.
3. If you are sick with a respiratory infection, even with mild symptoms, isolate yourself from others and call ahead if you need medical attention.
4. In accordance with Governor Dunleavy’s March 20th Health Mandate, remember:
• No gatherings of more than 10 people may take place.
• If a gathering does take place people must be 6 feet apart from each other.
5. Follow all health mandates and guidance issued by Governor Mike Dunleavy, DHSS, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local governments and health authorities.
Find more information about how to keep yourself and your family healthy at coronavirus.alaska.gov.
This press release covers new cases between March 24 at 3 p.m. and March 25 at 3 p.m. when daily case counts are updated at coronavirus.alaska.gov.