State reports 12 new cases statewide, 1 new locally

There’s a wait time for test results.

The state reported Thursday 12 new COVID-19 cases involving Alaska residents and one new case in the capital city.

This is the second day in a row a new COVID-19 case has been reported for City and Borough of Juneau, according to Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The new case brings Juneau’s total since March to 39 cases. Of those, 35 people have recovered, according to DHSS. How the person contracted the illness is under investigation.

DHSS also reports one hospitalization for Juneau as of June 16. There have been six cumulative hospitalizations for Juneau. There have been 56 hospitalizations statewide.

According to City and Borough of Juneau’s COVID-19 Dashboard, none of the 15 ventilators in the city are in use.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, breathing trouble, sore throat, muscle pain, and loss of taste or smell. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.

Other areas with newly reported cases include Matanuska-Susitna Borough Borough with three, four for Fairbanks North Star Borough, two for Anchorage and one for Ketchikan Gateway Borough, in addition to the new Juneau case.

Testing remains in high-demand according to City and Borough of Juneau and across the state.

In a Thursday news release, the city said people who’ve recently been tested for COVID-19 at the Juneau at the city’s drive-thru testing facility or Juneau International Airport may be experiencing delays in getting results back because of high demand.

[Juneau a testing hub? Assembly considers buying machine]

The turnaround time for test results in Alaska and at some commercial labs is taking longer than usual, according to CBJ. Some test results are taking up to five days or longer to return with results. The state said it is addressing this issue and working toward faster turnaround times.

The city also continues to explore options to process tests on a large scale locally, instead of sending them to a state lab or out of state, according to CBJ. Having the ability to analyze test samples in Juneau would greatly reduce turnaround time. Results could be obtained within the same day instead of multiple days, helping to contribute to the public health and economy of the community.

With local capabilities, Juneau could also process COVID-19 test samples from other communities in Southeast.

CBJ Assembly wrote a letter to Governor Mike Dunleavy in May asking his administration to partner with CBJ toward this goal.

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