A quarantine or “Lima” flag of yellow-and-black flies from the M/V Tustumena on Friday, June 12, 2020, at the Pioneer Dock in Homer, Alaska. Seven crew members tested positive for COVID-19, and as of Friday three of them remained quarantined on the state ferry. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A quarantine or “Lima” flag of yellow-and-black flies from the M/V Tustumena on Friday, June 12, 2020, at the Pioneer Dock in Homer, Alaska. Seven crew members tested positive for COVID-19, and as of Friday three of them remained quarantined on the state ferry. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

State logs its highest daily COVID-19 case count; 12th death

No new Homer cases in Sunday report

Alaska reported its largest one-day increase of new coronavirus cases on Saturday, with 29 residents and five nonresidents testing positive for COVID-19 the previous day, according to the latest data from the state’s Department of Health and Social Services.

Alaska also reported its 12th death associated with COVID-19 on Friday. The death is the second associated with the outbreak at the Providence Transitional Care Center in Anchorage.

“Sadly, we are announcing the death of another Alaskan today and I want the individual’s loved ones to know we are thinking of them,” Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink said in a Friday press release from the Department of Health and Social Services. “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been especially focused on the extra precautions that are needed to prevent the spread of this disease into our more vulnerable populations.”

The case count dropped in Sunday’s report by DHSS, with just nine new cases statewide and none for the Kenai Peninsula. Anchorage had four new cases, Fairbanks had two, North Pole had two and Palmer had one. The June 14 report brings the statewide number of cases to 661.

Six of the resident cases reported Saturday are located within the Kenai Peninsula Borough, with four coming from Homer and two coming from smaller communities on the southern peninsula. The borough’s number of active cases now stands at 73, while 33 peninsula residents have recovered.

Of the 29 new resident cases reported Saturday, 14 are male and 15 are female. One is under the age of 10. One is between 10 and 19. Two are between 20 and 29. Six are between 30 and 39. Nine are between 40 and 49. Two are between 50 and 59. Five are between 60 and 69. Two are between 70 and 79 and one is 80 or older.

Within the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the majority of active cases are either residents of Homer or smaller communities on the southern peninsula. Homer has 25 active cases. Anchor Point has four. Fritz Creek has two. Kenai has eight. Nikiski has five. Seward has one. Soldotna has seven. Twenty are listed as “other south” and one is listed as “other north.” The “other” categories represent communities of fewer than 1,000 people that are not specifically listed but included in the count for their borough or census area.

Of the new Alaska cases reported on Sunday, six are male and three are female. One is aged 10-19; two are aged 20-29; three are aged 30-39; one is aged 50-59 and two are aged 60-69. There have been a total of 52 hospitalizations and 12 deaths with no new hospitalizations or deaths reported on Sunday. Recovered cases now total 411, with six new recovered cases recorded yesterday. The average percentage of daily positive tests for the previous three days is 0.97%.

On Sunday, DHSS also reported three new nonresident cases, all identified as seafood industry workers, with two in the Municipality of Anchorage and one in the combined Bristol Bay and Lake & Peninsula boroughs.

After further investigation by DHSS, two cases reported on Saturday as Alaska cases have been reclassified as nonresident tourism cases in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. This brings the total number of nonresident cases to 75.

There have been a combined 71,803 tests for COVID-19 statewide, with a positivity rate of 1.1% based on a three-day rolling average. On the Kenai Peninsula, 4,104 tests have been conducted. Currently, there are 12 people hospitalized statewide who are either positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. One new hospitalization was reported Saturday.

Reach Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com. Homer News editor Michael Armstrong contributed to this story. Reach him at marmstrong@homernews.com.

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