Update: Alaska virus cases continue rise in double digits

1,795 Alaskans have tested positive to COVID-19, death toll rises to 18

Updated 4:15 p.m., July 18

Numbers of Alaskans testing positive for the novel coronavirus have kept rising.

On Saturday, July 18, the state Department of Health and Social Services announced that another 62 residents and 16 nonresidents are the latest to be diagnosed with COVID-19.

Newly diagnosed Alaskans include 31 in Anchorage, nine in Fairbanks, four each in Soldotna and Wasilla, two each in Juneau, Palmer, Seward, and the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, and one each in Chugiak, Eagle River, Ketchikan, Kenai Peninsula Borough North, Kenai Peninsula Borough South and Utqiagvik, boosting the number of Alaskans infected to 1,795 people.

Six seafood industry workers in Unalaska were among the newly counted nonresidents. Three people in the tourism industry and one other nonresident were diagnosed in Anchorage. There were also two new nonresident cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and one each in the Bristol Bay and Lake and Peninsula boroughs, Denali Borough, Juneau City and Borough and one unknown location, the last being under investigation.

The six seafood workers were crew aboard American Seafoods Company’s American Triumph, which was making deliveries at Dutch Harbor. All six are now in isolation and the remaining members of the Triumph’s 119-person crew are being tested. The vessel has been at sea since June 27.

America Seafoods CEO Mikel Durham said in a statement issued by the company that support of the crew members who tested positive and testing the rest of the crew of the Triumph are their top priority right now.  Durham said the company will continue cooperating with the U.S. Coast Guard and state and local health departments to ensure the crew is getting any care required and communities in which they operate are alerted.

The total under of nonresident cases is now 364.

The 18th person to die from the virus was an Anchorage woman in her 50s who had suffered from pre-existing conditions, DHSS officials said.

Eleven more people have recovered from the virus, boosting the recovered cases toll to 708. Another 1,069 cases remain active.

A total of 168,363 tests have now been conducted. The average percentage of daily positive test for the previous three days as of July 17 was 1.59 percent.

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

For Cordova updates, visit the city’s COVID-19 dashboard here.