Gov. Mike Dunleavy (center) speaks with Edward Graham (left) of Samaritan’s Purse as two other Samaritan’s Purse staff members look on, Monday, April 6, 2020 at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska. Dunleavy met the crew and staff of the Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 at the airport as they offloaded thousands of pounds of medical supplies bound for rural Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy (center) speaks with Edward Graham (left) of Samaritan’s Purse as two other Samaritan’s Purse staff members look on, Monday, April 6, 2020 at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska. Dunleavy met the crew and staff of the Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 at the airport as they offloaded thousands of pounds of medical supplies bound for rural Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)

4th COVID-19 case reported in Soldotna

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Soldotna has a fourth case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The case was reported Monday by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services along with five other new cases around the state, bringing the statewide total number of cases t0 191. New cases are announced at noon every day by the state and reflect the number of new cases identified in a 24-hour period the day before.

There were no new deaths in Alaska from the disease reported Monday. Over the weekend, there were three deaths of Alaska residents due to COVID-19 reported by the state. One was a 73-year-old woman in Fairbanks, another was a 71-year-old Anchorage resident and the third was a middle-aged man who was a resident of Anchor Point, but who died outside of Alaska.

Chief Medical Office Dr. Anne Zink said there have been three new hospitalizations, which brings the cumulative total of people hospitalized for the illness to 23. That number includes people who have since died or recovered and gone home.

The six new cases announced Monday are the one from Soldotna, one in Petersburg, one in Fairbanks, two in Anchorage and one in Eagle River. Of those cases, four are male and two are female. One of them is a child under age 10.

The breakdown of COVID-19 cases on the Kenai Peninsula is as follows: Four cases in Soldotna, three in Seward, two in Sterling, one in Kenai, one in Homer and one Homer resident who was tested and isolated in Anchorage. One Anchor Point resident has died out of state.

As of Monday morning, South Peninsula Hospital had sent 86 samples off for testing, with 68 tests coming back negative so far. The rest, besides the one positive case Homer already has, are pending.

Also announced Monday was a donation the state received from Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization headquartered in North Carolina. The organization flew in nearly 18,000 pounds of medical supplies on Monday, which Gov. Mike Dunleavy said included masks, gloves, towels, mattresses for hospital beds and more.

Zink also reported that the state has received 50 rapid testing kits from Abbott Laboratories on Monday and is in the process of distributing them.

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is “rolling out” 40 of its own rapid testing kits from Abbott, which Zink said includes 2,400 tests. ANTHC is working to get tests out to rural parts of the state, Zink said.

“This is really a big focus for us around the state in the next week,” she said of testing.

So far, more than 6,800 people in the state have been tested. That’s 0.89% of the total Alaska population, Zink said.

All but two of the 31 economic regions in Alaska have now begun testing. Zink praised Fairbanks for being the city currently testing the highest percentage of their population per capita.

“It’s exciting to see really diverse testing across the state,” she said.

In total, the municipality of Anchorage (which includes Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson) has 77 cases, combined areas near Anchorage have 11 cases, the Fairbanks North Star Borough has 54 cases, Juneau has 14 cases, Ketchikan has 14 cases, the Kenai Peninsula Borough has 12 cases and one death of a peninsula resident outside Alaska, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough has four cases, the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area has one case, the Yukon-Koyukuk Censes Area has one case, and the Petersburg Borough has one case.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

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