Alaskans are crushing it on COVID curve: 11 new cases - Must Read Alaska
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Alaskans are crushing it on COVID curve: 11 new cases

DR. ZINK ISSUES ADVISORY: WEAR FACE MASKS IN PUBLIC PLACES

Alaska now has had 157 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus, an increase of 11 since Thursday. There are no new deaths. The increases have been modest day after day this week, reflecting Alaskans’ compliance with health mandates.

It’s far too soon to declare victory, but what Alaskans are doing appears to be working.

Two new hospitalizations brings the total hospitalized to 15, although some are no longer in the hospital. Of those 11 announced today, one is a traveler who is not from Alaska — only 10 were Alaskans. 6,016 individual Alaskans have been tested.

“We seem to be holding our own and we seem to be doing better than the vast majority of states,” Dunleavy said, speaking about the number of people tested and the number those who are known to be infected. He was also encouraged that no deaths have been reported since last Saturday, when a 73-year-old man died at an Anchorage hospital from the coronavirus. He had been admitted to the hospital five days earlier.

If the state’s influenza chart can be used to track how well Alaskans are adhering to the social distancing and hand washing mandates, then there’s good news on that front.

The Wuhan coronavirus known as COVID-19 is much more contagious than influenza A or B, but the cases of flu in Alaska have fallen almost to zero. That’s important, because flu is transmitted the same way as the coronavirus — through droplets. Last year, 18 Alaskans died of complications from regular influenza.

At the end of March, 2020, after what started out as a heavy flu season, the flu was all but over, as shown by the red line below:

Dunleavy was cautious about the progress Alaskans have made is staving off the spread of the coronavirus. And his caution is understandable, since the numbers could spike at any time for this virus, which spreads in clusters.

But looking at some of the models, it appears Alaskans have a strong desire to not get infected and are minding the advisories and mandates for social distancing and sanitizing.

The University of Washington model for Alaska says Alaska is still 11 days away from “peak deaths” expected from COVID-19. That model predicts there will be five associated deaths per day by April 14, a rate that will continue for several days before tapering off to four deaths per day by April 21. By August, 148 Alaskans will have died from the illness, the model predicts.

From the trends, however, it looks like Alaskans intend to cheat death by beating the models, and they are right now leading the nation in both low case count, numbers tested, and numbers of deaths. The first case in Alaska was detected on March 12, and it’s been growing as more people are tested, but not expanding as exponentially as it has in New York City and other urban areas where people cannot avoid each other.

State Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink today issued the 10th health advisory for the State of Alaska: Wear a mask when in public to cover both your nose and mouth. This prevents you from spreading the virus if you are an asymptomatic carrier of it.

At this point, Zink said, everyone should assume they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and could be spreading it. Zink’s advisory has specific instructions for how to use masks, when to use them, and when and how to remove them:

Health Alert #10: Recommendations Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Scientific evidence available to date indicates that asymptomatic and presymptomatic shedding of the virus that causes COVID-19 is occurring. This means that people who have no symptoms whatsoever may be infected with the virus and capable of transmitting the virus to others when interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing. This heightens the need for community-wide implementation of control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among people who are not experiencing symptoms of illness.

The primary ways to do this are through social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces. Another tool that may help to minimize transmission while people are around others outside of their household is the use of face coverings. Because we are experiencing a nationwide shortage of medical supplies, including facemasks, we recommend that Alaskans make their own face coverings and wear them in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) — especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. This recommendation aligns with current national guidance from the CDC.

The following measures are highly recommended for all Alaskans:

  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
  • Make sure the face covering covers both the nose and mouth.
  • Do not remove the face covering until you return home.
  • When removing the face covering, avoid touching the front of the face covering (because it may becontaminated). Remove it by grasping the ear loops, ties, or bands and immediately discard or place ina designated container for laundering.
  • Wash your hands immediately after removing the face covering and before touching anything else.
  • Wash face coverings in hot, soapy water between uses.
  • Do not wear N-95 or surgical masks; these are needed by health care workers and first responders.
  • Do not rely on face coverings as the primary way to prevent COVID-19 transmission, and be careful to

avoid developing a false sense of security through the use of face coverings. Continue to follow social

distancing measures, including maintaining at least six feet between yourself and others, staying at home, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands frequently.

What is a cloth face covering?

A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

How do I make a homemade face coverings?

Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost. There are a number of instructional websites and videos that people can refer to for making face coverings; two such videos are available at https://youtu.be/VgHrnS6n4iA and https://youtu.be/1r2C1zGUHbU

How well do cloth face coverings work to prevent spread of COVID-19?

There is limited evidence available on how well cloth face coverings help reduce COVID-19 transmission. Their primary role is to reduce the release of respiratory droplets into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including people who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing and washing hands and staying home when ill, but they may be helpful when combined with these primary interventions.

How should I care for a cloth face covering?

Wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Have a bag or bin to keep cloth face coverings in until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face. Discard cloth face coverings that:

• No longer cover the nose and mouth
• Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps • Cannot stay on the face
• Have holes or tears in the fabric

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • This is beyond ridiculous. How long are we going to keep on buying into this crap? When are they going to start killing us? Huh?

  • Thnx Suzanne for continued great informative daily reporting on this state, national, and world wide crisis.

  • MRAK updates are the best in Alaska. Good work, Suzanne!

    • My #1 trusted source for everything news!

      • Agreed 100%. Suzanne is the best!

  • The models are BS! Not cheating anything, all the fear isn’t driven by real world events but by computer models that predict Doom and give justification to Tyrannical Government Dictates! It is all a bunch crap, more people will die from being impoverished in the coming Greatest Depression than would have ever succumb to this virus.

    • Mongo have candy shortage ?

      • Maybe. Mongo doesn’t realize that without mitigation, this thing runs through the whole world unchecked. Then nobody will be able to make candy.

  • STAY TUNED:
    CORDOVA is open for commercial fishing and fish processors.
    Big experiment taking place now with large influx of people from who knows where working in tight spaces, spreading the love. mitigation alone is not going to be sufficient.
    “katie bar the door” i love my home town, its gonna look different , feel different real soon. good luck everyone,

    • Bret,
      I think many Alaskans will be weary when they see out of state travelers arriving in their towns this Spring.
      I was just told of a van load of Asian tourists that showed up in Talkeetna this week and were told by locals to get back in the van and leave?
      It does not help when politicans are calling this the “China Virus” when the world is unsure exactly where “Case One” really started?
      So much fear mongering while Big Pharma walks away with a $20 Billion dollar hand out from the American taxpayers (and all of U with a 401K).
      So much for Trump saving everyone’s retirement money.

      • My present priority is not your priority. YET. Sounds like you have it all figured out. Jump in, go implement your fixes amongst the masses of sheep, dogs and wolves .
        happy breathing.

      • Steve Stine, the wokeset of the woke! Telling us stories of Asian (why does it matter what race they are, Steve?) tourists daring to travel while decrying the supposed racist naming of a disease. Calling travel bans unconstitutional and yet calling for more travel bans. You woke folk sure are full of the most hypocritical asinine nonsense.

        • He hails from Bernie country. What do you expect?

      • Asian tourist are not immune to sheltering in place. Everyone knows the china virus originated in….CHINA! While the markets, and 401k’s are temporarily down do the the fear the ENTIRE world is having, they will climb faster than they went down. Even tree hugging comrades like you should know global economics. Big Pharma comanies are saving our sweet county asses. Might want to give em a break.

    • Sounds like Cordova may become our “canary in the coal mine”?

      • There are canaries already sick and dying in several areas all over the state.

        Our canary in the coal mine moment passed on March 21st with our first confirmed case.

  • I’m all for crushing this virus, but I don’t want to hear from UW about projected deaths in August, I want to hear From the Gov we are doing so well we can open the hell back up for business May first!!

  • The models were always seriously flawed since day one.
    Air travel always has been the primary vector for this virus yet it has never been limited accross North America?
    Americans will fear Authoritarian Politicans more than the flu after this pandemic has passed…the real problem is the 30 percent unemployment left from the “knee- jerk” reactions which will be much more detrimental to our society.

    • Why not move back to Russia comrade?

      • You are correct Greg, this is the method that the Nazi’s and Russia control their population.
        Has anyone ever thought what the government does with the results of the COVID-19 test? Do the put you in a registry, and will they round up everyone that was positive in the future?
        Do not trust this government for anything!!!

      • Greg,
        We all dealt with guys like you in H.S.
        It is good to know that some things are still the same in America.

        • We didn’t have guys like you in HS. But then, I was raised in Kansas, not near Berkeley.

        • We were busy saving the country instead of burning US flags or throwing eggs on returning service men. Probably before your time, but those folks had offspring. You don’t have a clue about what fighting for our country is about.

        • Steve,

          Time to let it go buddy, hanging on to high school isn’t healthy for anyone.

  • Suzanne, great job in this coverage.
    I found some dust masks that I had for carpentry work. Do you have any information as to washing them? One still has dust from last use, but still usable as far as I can see. Hot soap and water, air dry?

      • Suzanne, in your article above you state “Wear a mask when in public to cover both your nose and mouth. This prevents you from spreading the virus if you are an asymptomatic carrier of it.”

        The mask won’t prevent you from spreading the virus, it will help to some degree but one can also spread the virus by touching surfaces that others then touch, etc. If an asymptomatic mask wearer has handled his mask improperly, (very easy to do), then even if he or she is gloved up, now the gloves are contaminated.

        And various sorts of masks aren’t a catch-all tool, different kinds of masks will have different levels of effectiveness. Most importantly, fit is important, gaps, slippage, etc can make the mask ineffective.

        We mustn’t overstate the effectiveness of the tools we are given to fight the virus.

        We must recognize that to prevent the spread is almost impossible, and wearing a mask won’t prevent the spread, it will help slow the spread, it is definitely a tool that will help, but masks aren’t a solution, it’s a stop gap measure.

        • There are canaries already sick and dying in several areas all over the state.

          Our canary in the coal mine moment passed on March 21st with our first confirmed case.

          • meant that to be a response to Joseph,

        • Bill, the mask will deflect a lot coming from the user inside the mask. Sure, not total, would need the ones we can’t get. Of course the rest of what you said is true, but Suzanne’s remark was just on the mask, not on all the other information she has said.

      • Thanks, that was what I was going to do unless you had or knew where I could get further information to the contrary.

  • If I were a tourist I would be looking at this rate as a good reason to travel to Alaska this late Summer…But what do I know … I live here.

  • When did productive Alaskans care what some University of Washington “model” for Alaska says about anything, let alone “peak deaths”?
    .
    Doesn’t matter whether it’s health “models”, climate “models”, or economic “models”, government-sponsored doomsayers always seem to rule the day. They could be right… but what if they’re wrong this time too, Aesop’s fable about the little boy who cried wolf ring a bell?
    .
    We believe the China virus somehow made state and local governments temporarily quit the lying, cheating, and stealing which seem to make up much of the news? Until a certain date, which we don’t know, all government lying, cheating, stealing is suspended so we can accept government-sponsored “models” and accept government by “models” instead of elected representatives?
    .
    Productive Alaskans are desperate to close up their economy, forget their Constitutional rights, and give up their expectations of honest, ethical, competent, adult government leadership so they can be be governed by “models” instead of elected representatives??
    .
    The majority of productive Alaskans are desperate to cede their way of life to continual doom-saying, to huddle quietly at home, meekly awaiting the next social-engineering edict from amateur dictators who never gave a damn about them on a good day?
    .
    This’ll be the first Easter in American history that churches are closed for Easter services. Shamefully, we allow that to happen, we submit to the dictate that religion is nonessential because some “model” says so?
    .
    Alaska’s very own third-rate college industry couldn’t even make up a homebrew model to help Alaska’s governments mangle the economy and suspend the Constitution. Of course, no expectation means no disappointment, but one does wonder why.
    .
    Maybe the answer lies in the secretive number-crunching processes that make “modeling” such a mysterious art. Our model process has to be secret from yours so you can’t criticize what we did and, most importantly, so you can’t siphon off any of our grant money!
    .
    The good news is the panic is not sustainable. If cancerous state and local governments kill their host economy, they’ll die too, like they almost did in the 1980’s.
    .
    That may not be necessarily a bad thing… call it political chemotherapy, if you will… killing the cancer could mean almost killing the host… but a government starved into manageable size, representing citizens by Constitution instead of ruling by “models”… this could work.
    .
    Why not ditch “models”, modelers, social engineers, rulers, and give it a try…
    .
    What have we got to lose?

    • We tried that, morrigan, it was called the ‘Dark Ages’ and the Black plague was the result, the most devastating pandemic recorded in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimate between 75 to 200 million people.

      The University of Washington modelers offered their help, they aren’t some Deep State evil force out to cheat you out of your freedoms.

    • We tried that, it was in the Dark Ages and it resulted in the Black Plague, the most deadly pandemic in the world causing between 75 and 200 million deaths.

      • Hittin Thai stick, bro? You could share.
        .
        You’re probably right… ask too many questions nobody wants to hear, you get a yard full of black helicopters…
        .
        Amateur number crunchers are here to help, not fix anything, not cure anything… just help…. government’s here to help, right? not seeing so much help here, how about you?
        .
        So 244 years later, Americans need some damned, unelected, grant-money sucking, out-of-state, amateur college number crunchers to tell us how many of us got to die before we get our freedoms back?
        .
        Now global warming’s about as stale as last week’s beer, we need something fresh, right? Hey, look what happens when we mix “panic” with “dem”! We got a “pandemic”!
        .
        Anybody questions it, well we got something for them too, right?
        .
        Just out of curiosity, no right or wrong answer, how long were you were “hunkered down” and “masque’d” when swine flu and SARS and MERS and Ebola hit?
        .
        Amateur number crunchers tell you enough people died, so you can come out now?
        .
        Stay at home all the time do you, so you don’t die from the regular flu, car wrecks or Covid 1-18?
        .
        There it is.

        • LOL, “pan-demic” that funny, come on over at 4:19 , I share, discuss “House of Pelosi.” Just wash your hands and wear a hemp bag over your brain.

    • “This’ll be the first Easter in American history that churches are closed for Easter services.”
      Easter Sunrise Service, Bunny Rabbits hiding Easter Eggs……Ishtar, fertility goddess. 1700 years ago this pagan religion was blended into the Roman government sanctioned Catholic church. The Reformation seen it carried over to the Protestant church.
      It’s been part of the Christian faith for so long it seems “right”.
      Word says to come out from among them….not the world because we have to live in the world….but out from among the false religion.
      That has it’s perils also, for so many times whenever some group comes out from among their false religion, they seem to start their own false religion.
      No wonder it say’s that many shall be called, but few chosen. We’re a sorry lot, we are.

      • Need a friend?

    • Plenty. This thing lives on people with no clue that they are carriers, Not even a flea bite. Then, it spreads to unsuspecting hosts. To do nothing would be suicidal. You don’t like democracy???Fine. See you at the ballot. Without the head, the snake dies. You can’t have it both ways. I’m not for big government either. These days, big conservative government makes us stronger, and big liberal government makes us weaker. Take a pick. No Phoenix from the ashes in this scenario.

  • Nice, but still nothing about thermal scanners. Just talked to an Alaska Airline employee. Any employee that has a temp of 100F or more is pulled, and everyone they work with too. Still nothing Sue????

  • What I wanted to ask is about the difference between the count of 157 cases and Health and Social Services website today showing a count of 171 cases?

    They report 13 new cases, 171 total cases, 16 hospitalizations, 5 deaths.

    The state’s newly created dashboard is posting those same numbers.

      • Thx, and I see that it was State Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink who stated masks – prevent- spread but that’s only partly true, they will help to slow the spread, and in some cases, a mask might -prevent- spread, but it’s not a sure thing that wearing a mask will -prevent-spread every time, as she says herself, masks must be fitted properly, be constructed from approved materials and there are protocols for handling them.
        In some cases, careless use of a mask can give someone a false sense that the mask will do the job regardless.

        An asymptomatic person in a mask can still spread disease through touching surfaces.

        Only through abiding to very strict protocols do health professionals avoid contagion, and most members of the public are not going to approach meeting the kinds of standard necessary to -prevent-transmission.

        A false sense of security can undo all the efforts so far.

  • Models take the best information available and make projections. What actually happens is determined at least in part by how we react. If we shut down and social distance, then the most dire predictions will be wrong. That’s good. We want our actions to make the predictions wrong.

    But put models aside. If you don’t want to pay attention to models, lets look at the real world. Italy. People dropping like flies. 15,000 counted deaths so far, many others died before being tested so are not counted.

    It really doesn’t take a lot of thought to see that what is happening there could happen here. Why wouldn’t it? We can even look at the 1918 flu epidemic to see that not only could it happen here, it already did happen here.

    In 1918 churches were closed. Schools were closed, theaters were closed. Again, churches were closed.

  • Does anyone know what treatment is given if you test positive in Alaska? Are we using the HCL, Zpack and Zinc treatment that has been highly successful throughout the World? In addition to curing a very high percentage of cases before they go into critical care it also shortens the transmission period by about a half. If even 1 of the 3 deaths that occurred on Alaskan soil could have been saved by this treatment does that not warrant it’s use? After all the CDC is allowing it and the FDA has approved it for treatment. Where does the State Department of Health stand on it’s use?

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