State COVID-19 case count rises to 2,990 Alaskans, 687 nonresidents

Anchorage mandates four more weeks of limits on size of gatherings, reinstates closure of dine-in service in restaurants, breweries, bars

State health officials said on Friday, July 31, that another 114 people have tested positive for COVID-19, including 108 residents in 15 communities and six nonresidents in Southcentral, Southeast Alaska and other locations.

These numbers boosted the overall count of residents testing positive to 2,990 and nonresidents to 687, DHSS officials said.  A total of 133 people have been hospitalized overall and another 898 people have recovered from the virus to date.

In Anchorage, which has had the highest infection rate in the state, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued emergency orders mandating four more weeks of limits on the size of gatherings, reinstated closure of dine-in service in restaurants, breweries, bars and nightclubs, and closure of bingo halls and theaters.

State health officials to date have documented 1,540 cases of novel coronavirus in Anchorage, including 10 individuals who have succumbed to the virus.  The city has added four new free COVID-19 test sites, bringing the total available to five.

The mandates restrict indoor gatherings to 15 people, and outdoor gatherings involving food or drink to 25 people, with masks to be worn at all gatherings.

Retail establishments and other businesses open to the public are encouraged to prioritize telephone and online ordering and increase offering of curbside and delivery services.

“This pandemic is not done with us yet,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Health Commissioner Adam Crum and chief state medical officer Dr. Anne Zink, in a joint statement issued on Thursday, July 30. “COVID-19 is a serious disease for many and there is still no vaccine.”

State officials meanwhile issued a statement urging Alaskans to maintain social distancing of at least six feet, to wear face masks and avoid large crowds.

Of the 114 new resident cases 73 are in Anchorage, 11 in Fairbanks, five in Wasilla, three each in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area and Eagle River, two each in Kenai, North Pole and Palmer, and one each in Big Lake, Houston, Juneau, Unalaska, Valdez, Valdez-Cordova Census Area and Yakutat/Hoonah-Angoon Census areas.

The six new nonresident cases, none of them seafood workers, were in Southcentral and Southeast Alaska, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and one other unidentified location.

As of July 31, 233,106 tests had been conducted. The average percentage of daily positive test for the previous three days as of July 31 was 2.52 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.