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.


Alaska broke multiple records Tuesday with 48 new COVID-19 cases confirmed the day before and 400 resident cases still considered active, but Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he has no current plans to change any of his state mandates regarding masks or social gatherings.

The governor, who met with reporters for the first time in weeks Tuesday evening to discuss the new numbers, pointed to rising case counts "all across the world" but maintained that Alaska's case numbers "in most respects are still very, very low."

He later said that health officials believe the virus is spreading in the state and encouraged Alaskans to observe physical distancing.

The 48 new cases reported Tuesday involved 36 resident cases and 12 nonresident cases.

Five of the new state resident cases are Alaskans from Fairbanks. 

The other 31 residents to have tested positive Monday include 22 from Anchorage, four from Seward, two from Palmer and one each from Eagle River, Soldotna, Juneau and the Valdez-Cordova Census area.

This brings the total number of state residents to have tested positive for the disease to 940. 

About 42% of those cases remain active, up from Monday's 40%. 

A total of 194 Fairbanks North Star Borough residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since mid-March, about 39% of which remain active.

State health officials also reported 12 new cases in nonresidents, more than half of which are seafood workers. 

The nonresident cases include five seafood workers from the combined Bristol Bay and Lake and Peninsula boroughs, two seafood workers in the Sitka City and Borough, one seafood worker in the Dillingham Census Area, two tourists in the Kenai Peninsula Borough and one individual each in the Anchorage Municipality and Kenai Peninsula Borough whose reason to be in the state remains unknown. 

This brings the cumulative total nonresident cases to 195. It remains unknown how many of these cases remain active. 

A total of 112,185 tests have been conducted. The average percentage of daily positive tests for the previous three days is 1.48%, according to state health officials.

The number of individuals who are hospitalized either with a confirmed case of the disease or who are under investigation increased by two since Monday, bringing the new total to 18. Three of those patients are confirmed to have the virus.

More than half of the state's inpatient hospital beds are in use as are a little less than half of the state's ICU beds. This includes both COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients.

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