Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink speaks at a press conference on Friday, March 20, 2020 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink speaks at a press conference on Friday, March 20, 2020 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)

Ketchikan announces 2 new COVID-19 cases

Monday’s addition of a case in Sterling brings Alaska’s total to 39

Alaska’s total number of novel coronavirus cases has risen to 39 with the announcement of two new cases in Ketchikan.

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough announced two new positive cases of COVID-19 on its website on Tuesday. This brings the total number of cases in Ketchikan to eight.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough announced the second case to occur in Sterling on Monday evening. Adding the two new Ketchikan cases, this bring’s Alaska’s total case number to 39.

Neither of the people who represent the new Ketchikan cases have a history of recent travel, according to the press release.

“These two individuals, upon experiencing symptoms of illness, self-quarantined and sought testing through the Creekside Family Medical Clinic,” the release states. “The testing was processed by a private lab.”

With the number of cases in the Ketchikan area on the rise, the mayors of the City of Ketchikan, City of Saxman, and Ketchikan Gateway Borough issued a mayoral proclamation on March 21 strongly urging all residents to “hunker down, shelter in place, and stay home” in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the new Sterling case, it is not yet known whether the person who tested positive contracted the disease from traveling or from within the community, the borough said in the press release. The person is self-isolating at home.

Public health officials will also initiate a contact investigation and reach out to any person who may have come into contact with the individual, according to the borough’s release.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

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