Novel coronavirus

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.


Updated 5:43 p.m.: The state of Alaska has seen more than 1,000 combined resident and nonresident cases of COVID-19, and two more Alaskans have died from the disease, according to data from Friday's update from the state Department of Health and Social Services.

The two additional deaths raise the number of Alaskans who have died from the disease to 14.

Both individuals, one man and one woman, were Alaskans who died outside of Alaska. The two were residents of out-of-state long-term care facilities, one in Washington and one in New Jersey.

The death certificates of both individuals list Juneau as their place of residence.

Both deaths occurred in early May but were only recently reported to the state. It remains unclear why there was a delay in reporting to the state. The two deaths are included in the three new cases reported in Juneau Friday, meaning Juneau actually only has one new case.

One of the deceased was in their 60s, the other in their 70s.

These are not the only deaths of Alaskans that have happened outside the state. A number of other deaths included in the state's total also occurred Outside. State health officials explained in a Friday report that Alaska's case and death tally reflects the residence of the individual, not necessarily the location of where the individual became infected or died.

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink acknowledged the deaths in a statement issued Friday, encouraging Alaskans to remain vigilant is social distancing as cases continue to increase statewide.

“We are saddened by the loss of these two Alaskans and are thinking of their loved ones and families as they continue to mourn,” she said. “I also want to remind Alaskans to buckle down on prevention. As case counts continue to rise in Alaska, we must be diligent about keeping six feet away from others, wearing a cloth face covering when you’re out in public, washing your hands often and isolating and calling a health care provider to ask about testing if you’re experiencing even mild COVID-19 symptoms.”

In addition to reporting the two new deaths, state health officials reported 20 new resident cases, including three who are Fairbanks North Star Borough residents, and 10 new nonresident cases.

The 20 resident cases include five from Anchorage, three from Wasilla, three from Juneau, two from Eagle River, two from Fairbanks, two from Seward and one each from North Pole, Palmer and Sitka.

Half of the 10 new nonresident cases are seafood industry workers who tested positive in the combined Bristol Bay and Lake & Peninsula boroughs.

The other nonresident cases include three cases in Anchorage, one visitor and two individuals whose reasons for visiting the state are unknown, and one individual each in the Bethel Census Area and Nome Census Area. It remains unknown whether the Nome and Bethel nonresident cases are workers or visitors.

This brings the state nonresident case total to 167, more than half of which are of seafood industry workers who came to the state for its massive summer fishing season.

It remains unknown how many of the nonresident cases remain active. Approximately 36% of the resident cases in the state remain active.

A total of 101,792 tests have been performed to date.

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.