Dr. Anne Zink, chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, front, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a press conference in Anchorage on Thursday, March 19, 2020. (Courtesy photo | Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

Dr. Anne Zink, chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, front, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a press conference in Anchorage on Thursday, March 19, 2020. (Courtesy photo | Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

10 new COVID-19 cases announced in Alaska

Juneau, Mat-Su Borough announce their first cases

Alaska’s count of confirmed novel coronavirus cases climbed to 32 on Sunday as the Department of Health and Social Services announced 1o new cases from around the state.

Seven of the new cases are in Anchorage, according to a DHSS press release. That brings the total number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Anchorage to 13.

For the first time, cases have been reported in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Juneau. Two of Sunday’s 10 new cases are in the Mat-Su and one is from Juneau.

All of the new cases are in adults, the release states, and none of them have been hospitalized.

“All of these persons are isolating themselves at home and their close contacts are being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms,” the release states. “One of the Anchorage cases had recent travel outside of Alaska. The remaining cases are not known to be travel-related at this time.”

The Section of Epidemiology is investigating these new cases together with Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, the Anchorage Health Department and public health nurses, according to the release.

“At least two of the new Anchorage cases that we are investigating have no clearly identified contact with a confirmed case,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaska’s State Epidemiologist, in the press release. “This indicates that community transmission of COVID-19 appears to be occurring in the Anchorage area.”

The breakdown for coronavirus cases in Alaska is now as follows: There are 13 cases in Anchorage, seven in Fairbanks, six in Ketchikan, two in the Mat-Su Borough, one in Seward, one in Sterling, one in Soldotna and one in Juneau.

Anyone returning to Alaska from abroad or another state is expected to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to the health alert sent out on March 20 that advises people to stop all non-essential out of state and in state travel. This health alert is not a mandate, but is a strong advisory.

Health Mandate 4, made by the state on March 17, stipulates that anyone returning from another country with ongoing community spread of the virus, such as China and countries in Europe, has to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days. Those people must not go to work for 14 days.

Health Mandate 4 also stipulates that “medium risk” travelers who are returning from elsewhere in the United States cannot go into crowded areas like grocery stores. The mandate also says medium risk travelers must stay at least 6 feet away from other people for 14 days.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

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