The Mat-Su Borough has its first two positive cases for COVID-19.
The positive cases are among 10 new cases announced by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Sunday evening. There are seven additional positive cases in Anchorage and one in Juneau. All 10 cases are adults and none required hospitalization, according to state officials. There was no additional information about the Mat-Su cases as of Sunday night.
One of the individuals who tested positive in Anchorage had recently traveled outside of Alaska.
“At least two of the new Anchorage cases that we are investigating have no clearly identified contact with a confirmed case,” Alaska State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin said. “This indicates that community transmission of COVID-19 appears to be occurring in the Anchorage area.”
The new Anchorage cases were reported less than three hours before Anchorage’s “hunker down” order is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued the order to prevent Anchorage area hospitals from becoming too overwhelmed and unable to meet the needs of a potential influx of patients, according to city officials. The order states that non-essential businesses close temporarily and residents remain in their home as much as possible.
Essential services such as hospitals, pharmacies, gas stations and grocery stores will remain open under the current order.
With the 10 additional cases, there are now 32 total positive cases for COVID-19 in Alaska, as of Sunday evening. Anchorage now leads the state with 13 positive cases. Two areas of concern in the state, the Fairbanks area and Ketchikan, have seven and six positive reports respectively.
This is a developing story. Continue to see frontiersman.com for more.