Seven new positive COVID-19 cases were reported Saturday, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

There were three confirmed cases in Ketchikan, and Anchorage, Fairbanks, Sterling and Soldotna had one positive in each community. The state total is now at 21. These were the first positive tests in Soldotna and Sterling. DHSS officials said the Anchorage and Soldotna cases were both travel related, and the other five are currently being investigated. All seven individuals are adults, and none have been hospitalized.

“The biggest challenge in our containment effort is when people continue to interact with others when they have symptoms,” Alaska State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin said in a release issued Saturday night. “I can’t underscore this point enough: If you feel even mild symptoms of respiratory infection, you need to immediately go home and stay away from others until your symptoms resolve.”

After three new positive cases of coronavirus were reported in Ketchikan earlier in the day, a “shelter in place” advisory has been issued by the city and borough.

The recommendation was made in a joint proclamation by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, city of Ketchikan and city of Saxmon.

There are now 21 total positive cases in Alaska. Six of those are in Ketchikan.

“These three individuals, upon experiencing symptoms of illness, self-isolated and sought testing by a local provider,” Ketchikan officials said in a press release issued by the Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center.

Two of the individuals were close contacts to the first positive case in Ketchikan, according to the release. The third who tested positive Saturday was a close contact with the second positive case in Ketchikan.

This is a developing story.

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