A resident of Anchor Point has died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, but the person was not in the state of Alaska when they died.
The state of Alaska reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday on its website, coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com. This brings the total number of cases associated with Alaska residents to 171. The Anchor Point death is being included in that number even though the person did not die within Alaska.
“The Anchor Point case reported today was in a middle-aged male who developed symptoms and subsequently died of COVID-19 out-of-state on March 29,” a press release from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services states. “The DHSS Section of Epidemiology was notified of this person’s death by the health authorities in the state where the individual died.”
The total number of Alaskans who have died from the disease is now up to five. Including the Anchor Point man, two of these Alaskans have died in a different state. The first Alaskan to die of the disease died in Washington state at a long-term care facility.
The second new death reported by the state on Saturday was a 73-year-old woman from Fairbanks who was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 27. The Fairbanks Daily News Miner reported that the woman died at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. The patient was admitted to the hospital on March 25, “and had underlying health conditions,” the News Miner reported.
The woman died on Friday, April 2, the state release says.
Also on Saturday, the City of Seward reported its third case of COVID-19, the Seward Journal reported. This case is not included in the 14 reported by the state on Saturday. Updates to the state data are made at noon each day.
The third Seward case is being investigated by DHSS, the Seward Journal reported, and there is no additional information yet about that case.
Not including the death of the Anchor Point man, the Kenai Peninsula now has 11 COVID-19 cases associated with people who live there. Cases and deaths are recorded according to a person’s residency, not where they contracted the disease or were tested. There are three cases in Soldotna, three cases in Seward, two cases in Sterling, one case in Kenai, one case in Homer, and one case of a Homer resident who was tested and isolated in Anchorage.
“Our hearts go out to the families of these deceased Alaskans,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “This is a heartbreaking reminder of how important it is for all of us to continue doing our part to slow down the transmission of this virus by strictly adhering to the social distancing and travel mandates and other health advisories.”
Of the other new cases reported by the state on Saturday, seven are in Anchorage, one is in Eagle River/Chugiak, three are in Fairbanks, one is in North Pole and one is in Juneau.
As of Saturday morning, South Peninsula Hospital has sent 75 swabs off for testing, according to hospital Public Information Officer Derotha Ferraro. Of those tests, 55 have come back negative and the rest are still pending, other than the hospital’s one positive case so far.
This is a developing story. More details will be added when they become available.
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org.