This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. Coronaviruses, including the newest one, are named for the spikes that cover their outer surface like a crown, or corona in Latin. Using those club-shaped spikes, the virus latches on to the outer wall of a human cell, invades it and replicates, creating viruses to hijack more cells. (NIAID / NIH)

CBJ reports 26 new COVID-19 cases

Contact tracing is still strained, city says

The City and Borough of Juneau Emergency Operations Center announced 26 new Juneau residents tested positive for COVID-19.

Eleven are part of a new cluster; none are connected to the cluster of cases associated with people experiencing homelessness, the city said in a news release. The cluster connected to vulnerable or unsheltered people is now at 86 with 24 active cases.

Due to a statewide backlog of cases, thorough contact tracing is strained, which means infection acquisition of most people will remain under investigation.Juneau residents who test positive are urged by the city to immediately call their own close contacts.

The new, 11-person cluster consists of employees at Mendenhall Auto Center, which closed to the public earlier this week upon learning of its first COVID-positive employee. Public Health says because the business acted quickly in shutting down and had COVID-19 mitigation measures in place, the potential risk of exposure to patrons is low, according to the city. Half of the business’s 65 employees have been tested and the other half will be tested today. The current size of the cluster is 12.

The cluster of cases associated with Juneau’s vulnerable/unsheltered population is at 86 at the moment – 24 people have active cases and 62 have recovered, according to CBJ.

Cumulatively, Juneau has had 512 residents test positive for COVID-19 since March and 104 nonresidents, according to the city. There are 119 active cases in Juneau and 494 people have recovered and all known active cases of COVID-19 are in isolation. There are currently three people with COVID-19 hospitalized at Bartlett Regional Hospital, the city said.

Statewide, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services today reports 355 new people with COVID-19 – 349 are residents and six are nonresidents. The state also reported six more deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 77.

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