There were 17 new positive reports for COVID-19 Wednesday. That is a single-day high in Alaska since the state started testing for the virus. There are now 59 total cases in Alaska, as of Wednesday night.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 11 new cases in Anchorage, three in Ketchikan, two in the Fairbanks and North Pole area and one in Homer. Of the 17 new cases, three are travel related and three are close contact. DHSS officials did not specify which region in Alaska those six individuals are in, and most of the cases are still under investigation.

Three individuals in Alaska have been hospitalized after testing positive for coronavirus, two within the last 24 hours.

“This clearly represents a considerable increase in our cases,” Alaska State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin said in a press release issued Wednesday evening. “In order to slow down the transmission rate, it is imperative that all Alaskans strictly adhere to state and local social distancing directives and also promptly isolate themselves from others if they develop any symptoms of a respiratory infection.”

There are only two positive cases in the Mat-Su Borough. Both are from Palmer, according to DHSS, and both are travel related.

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