COVID-19. (Image Credit: CDC)

COVID-19. (Image Credit: CDC)

10 COVID-19 new cases reported, mandates extended

Eatery dine-in services, bars and entertainment venues to be closed indefinitely

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There are 10 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink announced at a Wednesday night press conference, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 143. There are no new hospitalizations or deaths in the state and no new positive cases for COVID-19 on the Kenai Peninsula.

Zink said 5,022 tests for the new coronavirus have been completed in Alaska.

Two previously announced mandates are being extended indefinitely. The mandates, which were the second and third to be announced by the governor’s office, shuttered state libraries, museums and archives and closed dine-in service, bars and entertainment venues. One expired Tuesday night and the other Wednesday night. Those mandates have been extended until further notice, Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum announced at Wednesday’s press conference.

Dunleavy also announced hunts for black bear and brown bear have been canceled statewide.

Dunleavy said his office is parsing through the bills sent to his desk by the Alaska Legislature earlier this week. He said his office will be announcing his decisions on the budgets over the weekend.

Zink confirmed the BP employee who tested positive for the new coronavirus is an Alaska resident, but could not disclose where the employee is from within the state. She said the state’s epidemiology team is working closely with BP to make sure other employees are protected and the area is clean.

When asked about the number of Alaskans who have tested positive for the new coronavirus and recovered, Zink said the state’s epidemiological team is “not necessarily” reporting how many people have recovered. She said an estimate on the recoveries will be made based on the number of confirmed cases and those who have died.

“We hope we look back on this and say we got excited about nothing,” Dunleavy said. “But we hope what we’re doing is really going to spread this out so we don’t overwhelm our hospitals.”

There are eight confirmed cases on the Kenai Peninsula, with two cases in Soldotna, one in Kenai, two in Homer and two in Sterling. There are 67 confirmed cases in Anchorage, 40 cases in Fairbanks and North Pole, three in the Matanuska Susitna Valley, 10 confirmed cases in Juneau and 14 in Ketchikan.

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