The state reported Tuesday 23 new COVID-19 cases and a death.
At a press conference in the evening, Gov. Mike Dunleavy gave his condolences to the deceased’s family and all the families who’ve lost people to the coronavirus. Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink said the deceased was an older Alaskan who died in state and had underlying health conditions.
“We are thinking about them as well as the health care providers who cared for them,” Zink said.
Dunleavy said that despite the rising number of cases, there were still relatively few hospitalizations. Hospitalizations hit a new high Tuesday, according to state data.
“We still have some of the best numbers in the country and we want to keep it that way,” Dunleavy said.
Wearing a bandana around his neck, Dunleavy urged Alaskans to think of others and wear a mask while in public places but there would be no changes in health mandates. With rising case counts in the state and nationally, some lawmakers have called for a statewide mandate for cloth face coverings.
“I would say right now, there is no reason to hit the panic button,” Dunleavy said. “We are watching this.”
He said in terms of managing a pandemic, the state is doing OK and monitoring things on a daily basis.
Seventeen Alaskans have died with the coronavirus, according to Alaska Department of Health and Social Services data. Information about the newly reported death, including the deceased’s age, gender and place of residence, was not immediately clear. A message to DHSS was not immediately returned.
So far there have been 1,184 COVID-19 cases involving Alaskans and 241 cases involving nonresidents, according to state data. There are 607 active cases statewide and 560 Alaskans have recovered.
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, that can be fatal.
None of the new cases reported were for the City and Borough of Juneau. There are now two active cases in the city —one resident and one nonresident —according to City and Borough of Juneau’s COVID-19 dashboard.