The State of Alaska announced Wednesday 42 additional cases of COVID-19, 38 from residents, four from nonresidents, according to data from the state. No additional cases were reported for Juneau.
The 38 cases involving residents is a new high. The state reported the previous high, 36 cases, on Tuesday.
According to Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, 17 cases were in the Anchorage Municipality; Seven in the Matanuska-Sustina Borough; five in Kenai Penninsula Borough; three in the Fairbanks North Star Borough; three in the South Fairbanks Census Area and one each for Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Nome Census Area and Northwest Arctic Borough.
At a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy and other state health officials said the rising number of cases in the state was not matched by a rise in deaths or hospitalizations, and the state had built up its health care capacity to handle a surge in cases. While still refusing to put an order in a mandate, Dunleavy urged Alaskans to wear cloth face coverings in public places with close quarters, such as supermarkets.
“If I go to a store, I will cover my face. You should think that everybody around you they may be going home to individuals that fall into one of those (vulnerable) categories,” Dunleavy said, referring to those at risk from the coronavirus such as the elderly or people with underlying health conditions.
Contact tracing was becoming more difficult as the state opened up, Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer said at the same press conference, as people were reporting more contacts in more places. Wearing a mask and other health precautions like social distancing and handwashing has been shown to limit the spread of the virus, Zink said, and encouraged Alaskans to follow those guidelines.
Dunleavy urged Alaskans to be diligent about health guidelines going into the holiday weekend.