First Alaskan death due to COVID; six new cases - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, April 7, 2020
HomeTop NewsFirst Alaskan death due to COVID; six new cases

First Alaskan death due to COVID; six new cases

The first death of an Alaskan who contracted the Wuhan coronavirus was announced today. The person died out of state, said Dr. Anne Zink, chief medical officer for the State of Alaska.

The person who died had been in Washington state for some time, acquired the virus there and died there. The person was older and had other health risk factors.

Another six cases were announced today: Juneau -1, Sterling-1, Fairbanks-2, Ketchikan-2. A total of 42 cases are known across the state.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he is preparing to announce ways the private sector is going to rise to help meet the need to create items needed to combat the pandemic: They’ll be making test swabs that are RDA approved, personal protective equipment like masks and gowns, and distilleries will start making hand sanitizer. The details about these efforts will be announced on Wednesday.

Dunleavy and Zink reemphasized the need for all Alaskans to take the advice of experts, and to stay out of public, stay at home, and do whatever they can to not be close to other people except those in their immediate household.

‘The cases we see now are of people who got the disease over a week ago,” Zink said.

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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

  • Suzanne, you might want to rewrite that first paragraph. Where did the victim contract the virus, WA or AK?

      • I spotted it also but figured it was just the result of your being really busy keeping up with events.
        I wouldn’t ever be able to handle a thankless task such as you’ve inflicted upon yourself. IMO Journalism is one of the most demanding vocations…right after brain surgery maybe.
        Well, for you anyway. WAPO and the rest are more casual about it.

  • If they were in WA. they didn’t contract it in AK. They were just from here.

  • I don’t understand the logic of the CDC’s reporting. The cargo pilot was reported as Alaska, though he contracted COVID-19 out of the country. The person who died contracted COVID-19 out of state, been out of state, and wasn’t recently in the state, but counts against Alaska’s tally. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter where the person is counted and my condolences to the family.

  • What matters is this family has lost their loved one.

  • It’s as if Alaska is anxious to be a victim.

  • I think you should change the article title also. It was irresponsible for this to be announced as an Alaskan death no matter the CDC rules for tabulating. It just creates more anxiety for people in Alaska, where there are only 42 cases and only 1 in the hospital. It took the reporters several questions to drag out the facts on this patient. It almost seemed like the Governor and Dr. Zink were fear mongering to get people to follow the 14-day guidelines.

    • Everyone wants some of Trump’s $ 2 Trillion dollar stimulus package.
      Without portraying a crisis, Alaska would be last in line for federal money.

  • Agree, it is not the death of someone in Alaska.

    The intrusion of the virus into Alaska is because Dr. Zink did not ask the Governor to enforce airport screening of incoming passengers until yesterday. The only Alaskan advice from Dr. Zink was “wash your hands”.
    Everyone knew Alaska was not a breeding ground and the 48 including Seattle is, but the good Doctor thought the “wash your hands” mantra was all we needed.
    How did that work?

    • Screening is no guarantee to stop it. If it can take 14, or even 20 days by one account I read, for symptoms to appear, then screening may not matter. Even some are asymptomatic but can still spread the disease. I think screening can provide a false sense of security as well as testing when someone doesn’t have symptoms.

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