POINT MACKENZIE — The Alaska Department of Corrections’ largest facility had nearly every one of the over 1,300 inmates test positive for COVID-19 during the 2020 calendar year in which the coronavirus pandemic began.
Currently, only 14 inmates at Goose Creek Correctional Center are considered actively symptomatic with COVID-19 after an outbreak that began in late October resulted in the first death of an Alaskan inmate.
Goose Creek was praised in the spring when the state’s first inmate case of COVID-19 became the only positive case to come out of GCCC at the time. In late October, the second positive test resulted in a breakout that has since infected 1,271 of over 1,300 inmates with COVID-19. Of those 1,271 inmates, 18 were eventually hospitalized due to symptoms and four Goose Creek inmates died from COVID-19. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, 59 GCCC staff members have also tested positive. Information on severity of symptoms among GCCC staff was unavailable.
“If a staff member is symptomatic or has tested positive for COVID, they follow state health mandates to isolate at home,” wrote DOC Public Information Officer Sarah Gallagher.
On Friday, another 403 new cases of COVID-19 were announced statewide, bringing the cumulative total of people who have tested positive to 48,063. Of those 403 new cases, 71 were from the Valley, bringing the Mat-Su total up to 6,763 total people who have tested positive. There are 80 people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 across Alaska accounting for 9.7 percent of all hospitalized patients. There have been 222 deaths due to COVID-19 across Alaska and 18 deaths of Mat-Su residents. Over the last seven days, the Mat-Su has a 6.01 percent test positivity rate and two people are currently hospitalized.