Updated 6:37 p.m.: In the largest single-day increase yet, the Department of Health and Social Services confirmed 22 new cases of COVID-19 in Alaska as of Tuesday, bringing the state total to 213. This includes 11 new cases in the Fairbanks North Star Borough –– marking the largest single-day increase for the borough as well since the outbreak began.
The 11 new cases in the borough consist of nine cases in Fairbanks and two cases in North Pole.
Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink told reporters Tuesday evening she continues to be concerned about the number of cases in Fairbanks as numbers per capita remain some of the highest in the state. Zink clarified, however, that Fairbanks is testing more than most other communities across the state, which could contribute to the higher numbers.
The other cases announced Tuesday include 10 Anchorage and one in Bethel. The case in Bethel marks the first case confirmed in rural Alaska.
The Bethel case is associated with out of state travel, according to Zink.
Alaska State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin said the state is working with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. to track possible contacts.
In a significant victory for rural Alaska, testing is now available in the region, Zink announced Tuesday evening. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium announced Monday the distribution of 50 rapid-testing machines and 2,400 test kits throughout communities in rural Alaska.
No new deaths or hospitalizations were announced Tuesday.
Of Tuesday's 22 new cases, 12 are male and 10 are female. One case is in an individual age 20 to 29, five are age 30 to 39, three are age 40 to 49, seven are age 50 to 59, four are age 60 to 69, one is age 70 to 79 and one is over age of 80.
According to data kept by the department, a total of 29 reported individuals have fully recovered from the disease.
A total of 6,913 tests have been performed in Alaska.
In addition to outlining new cases and updated testing numbers, the state amended a previous health mandate to explain what elective procedures and surgeries should be postponed until June 15. The list of procedures can be found at https://bit.ly/2yDnXIo.
Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.