COVID-19. (Image CDC)

COVID-19. (Image CDC)

State reports 30 new cases; hospitalizations reach new high

The cases include 28 residents and two nonresidents.

Another 30 cases of COVID-19 and two new hospitalizations were reported by Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services Monday, according to a Monday press release from DHSS.

The Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association also reported Monday that 16 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are currently hospitalized, which is the largest number of hospitalized COVID-19-positive patients in the state at any one time so far. In addition, nine people are currently hospitalized who are under investigation for having COVID-19.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities announced Sunday that a nonresident passenger with the Alaska Marine Highway System tested positive for COVID-19. The passenger initially tested negative before departing on the M/V Kennicott from Bellingham, Washington, on June 27, according to a Sunday press release from DOT.

The passenger and their traveling partner traveled from Bellingham to Whittier and then to Cordova on July 3. The passenger tested positive after arriving in Cordova.

Following contact tracing from state public health officials, DHSS determined that the only person considered to be a close contact was the traveling companion.

“This is an example of everyone doing everything right,” Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink said in the DOT press release. “But this is a sneaky virus and travel is inherently risky during a global pandemic.”

The 30 new cases announced yesterday include 28 residents and two nonresidents — for a total of 1,403 cases. Three of the new resident cases are located on the Kenai Peninsula — one each in Seward, Kenai and Sterling. The city of Seward announced an additional positive case of COVID-19 Monday evening, which will be included in Tuesday’s report from DHSS. It is the 40th case identified in the city since June 26.

Statewide, there are 779 active cases among residents and nonresidents. A total of 128,330 tests have been conducted in Alaska since the beginning of the pandemic. The three-day average positivity rate for tests is 1.42%.

Locally, Central Peninsula Hospital has conducted a total of 2,180 tests, with a positivity rate of about 1.2%.

South Peninsula Hospital has conducted a total of 4,552 tests, with a positivity rate of about 1.8%.

This report reflects data collected from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Sunday. More data is available at the state’s Coronavirus Response Hub.

For more information on Alaska’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit covid19.alaska.gov or email covidquestions@alaska.gov.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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