1,272 Alaskans have tested positive for COVID-19

Eight newly recovered puts total recovery number at 571

Numbers of Alaskans infected with COVID-19 continue to rise in the double digits.

As of Thursday, July 9, the addition of 49 more people infected with COVID-19, including 46 Alaskans in 12 communities, boosted the statewide total to 1,272, plus 251 nonresidents.

That total includes Anchorage 21, Fairbanks 7, Wasilla 4, Kenai 2, Palmer 2, Soldotna 2, and one each in Bethel, Eagle River, Homer, Nome, North Pole, Petersburg, Seward and Sterling.

The three new nonresident cases include one seafood worker in the Kodiak Island Borough and two in unknown locations in unknown industries, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.  There have been a total of 80 hospitalizations, including one new one on Wednesday, July 8, and 17 deaths since the pandemic hit Alaska.

Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s medical director, has expressed continued concern over the sharp rise in cases and urged everyone to limit their social bubble of contacts.

“We need all Alaskans working together to break infection chains,” Zink said.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy meanwhile, has described the COVID-19 virus as “a pain in the neck.”

The state is continuing to work with school districts to come up with the best plan for educating young Alaskans this fall, the governor said. “We are going to come up with the best plan that we can,” he said.

Zink reiterated her warning to wear masks, limit one’s social bubble and wash hands frequently.

“We are definitely seeing a sharp increase in cases in Alaska, and just like in other states, many of the recent new cases are in youth or younger adults,” Zink said. “Some of these cases are linked to bars in several communities. Going to a bar right now, especially to listen to a concert, should be viewed as a high-risk activity. The virus can spread easily in crowded indoor spaces especially when people are close together and singing or talking.”

A total of 135,744 tests have now been conducted. The average percentage of daily positive test for the previous three days as of July 8 was 1.24 percent.

Updates on the impact of COVID-19 are posted daily at coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com.