File photo of Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a Anchorage press conference on May 8. Dunleavy met with reporters Sunday evening to announce the state’s highest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases at 27. (Courtesy photo | Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

File photo of Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a Anchorage press conference on May 8. Dunleavy met with reporters Sunday evening to announce the state’s highest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases at 27. (Courtesy photo | Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

State announces 27 new COVID cases, largest single-day increase

Dunleavy says reopening will continue as planned.

The were 27 new cases of COVID-19 in Alaska Sunday, the highest single-day increase in cases since the state’s first confirmed case in March, Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced at a press conference in Anchorage.

Fifteen of the cases were in Anchorage, and ten of those were from a single care home, according to Department of Health and Social Services data. There were no additional cases announced in Juneau.

The case jump comes as businesses and other public activity is increasing amid the governor’s Reopen Alaska Responsibly plan. The governor’s office does not typically hold press conferences over the weekend, but met with reporters by telephone Sunday evening to discuss the surging number of cases.

“We’re not having this press conference because we’re overly concerned,” Dunleavy said. “We are confident that we have the ability to manage, we feel pretty good about where we’re going in the state of Alaska.”

[Quarantine expected to be lifted in favor of proof of test]

The governor was joined by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer at Providence Health and Services Alaska Dr. Michael Bernstein and Anchorage Health Department Director Natasha Pineda.

An increase in cases isn’t especially surprising, Dunleavy and Zink said.

“We always new open didn’t mean over,” Zink said.

There will be additional COVID cases, Dunlevay said, but the state’s health care capacity is expected to be able to manage an increase

“We’re looking at our metrics, we’re feeling pretty good,” Dunleavy said. “We thought we would have a tremendous number but what we’re seeing is a very small number.”

The 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors will still be lifted June 6, Dunleavy said, but the state could still impose emergency measures if that is the best advice of health care professionals.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

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