In addition to the three new cases of COVID-19 in Ketchikan identified today, two more cases have popped up on the Kenai Peninsula, according to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management, bringing a total of five statewide.
Across the state, seven new cases of COVID-19 were detected five communities that include Soldotna, Sterling, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Ketchikan.
One of the Peninsula cases is in Soldotna and the other is in Sterling, bringing the total to three known cases of COVID-19 for the Kenai Peninsula. The first case on the Peninsula was diagnosed in Seward earlier this week. No other information on these cases was available.
The Soldotna and the Anchorage cases were both travel-related with travel to the Lower 48.
All of the other cases were non-travel related and are currently being investigated. All cases were in adults; none was hospitalized.
“All of the new cases are isolating themselves at home and their close contacts are being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms,” said Alaska’s State Epidemiologist, Dr. Joe McLaughlin. “Our thoughts go out to these people, their families and their communities. All of these individuals are being conscientious and cooperating fully with public health officials.”
McLaughlin added, “The biggest challenge in our containment effort is when people continue to interact with others when they have symptoms. I can’t underscore this point enough: If you feel even mild symptoms of a respiratory infection, you need to immediately go home and stay away from others until your symptoms resolve.”
“It is vital that every person is doing as much as possible to slow the spread of this disease,” added Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. “Social distancing is critical. Stay home as much as you can and, even if you’re healthy, stay away from those more vulnerable to severe illness, including those 60 or older, or anyone who might have an underlying medical condition.”
Travelers arriving from anywhere outside of Alaska should self-quarantine for 14 days, per the March 20th Alaska Health Alert. Find more information about how to keep yourself and your family healthy at coronavirus.alaska.gov.