Updated: 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 6.
Four individuals at the Anchorage Pioneer Home are among the latest Alaska resident cases of the novel coronavirus, including three Pioneer Home residents and one staff member, state health officials said on Thursday, Aug. 6.
Twenty other Anchorage residents were also among the 40 resident and six nonresident individuals identified as testing positive to COVID-19 by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
The three elders who tested positive at the Pioneer Home are in isolation, while the employee who tested positive is self-isolating at home. These are the first positive COVID-19 cases among elders at any of the Alaska Pioneer Homes. In June, one employee at the Fairbanks Pioneer Home tested positive.
It was the fourth consecutive day of double-digit numbers of new cases, after several days of the count soaring into triple digits.
Four new hospitalizations pushed the total number of people hospitalized, since the pandemic began, to 141 people. No new deaths were reported.
Anchorage, with an overall total of 2,016 cases, including 13 deaths, continues to have the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Other new resident cases include six in Fairbanks, two each in Juneau, the Northwest Arctic Borough and Soldotna and one each in Eagle River, the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, North Pole and Wasilla.
New nonresident cases including two seafood workers in Seward, and two seafood workers plus one visitor and one under investigation in Juneau.
DHSS officials also said four duplicate resident cases, one resident case created in error, and one supplicate nonresident case were removed, bringing the total number of resident cases to 3,484 and nonresident cases to 739.
Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz put into effect on Aug. 3-30 new restrictions on the size of gatherings and halted indoor service at bars and restaurants in the municipality, in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. Masking and social distancing are also required at businesses and other entities all over the city.
Andy Kriner, owner of Kriner’s Diner, has refused to shut down dine-in service and has attracted much support in the community, with some fans even handing him cash to help pay his legal bills. Kriner said while it was a tough decision for the mayor, he made his own decision to stay open, rather than lose the 60 percent of his business from dine-in customers.
Now the municipality of Anchorage is going to court on Friday, Aug. 7, seeking a temporary injunction against the diner.
As of Aug. 5, 261,572 tests had been conducted. The average percentage of daily positive test for the previous three days as of Aug. 4 was 3.05 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.