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Alaska reports 5 new COVID-19 cases and a new nonresident case

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Five more Alaskans tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, according to numbers published Friday morning by the state’s health department.

Additionally, one more Alaskan was hospitalized for the virus. There are currently 14 people hospitalized who are confirmed to have or suspected of having COVID-19, according to data from the Department of Health and Social Services.

Included in the updated numbers is another non-Alaska resident who tested positive for the virus. The person is listed as a visitor in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in state data. The visitor tested positive for the illness after finishing their 14-day self-quarantine, which is mandated by the state of Alaska for new arrivals.

A total of 18 nonresidents have tested positive for COVID-19 in Alaska since March, including one mining industry worker, two airline pilots, three visitors and 12 seafood industry workers.

The new numbers include a Juneau resident, one Homer resident, one Soldotna resident and two people who live in Anchorage.

The updated case counts come a day after the state reported its largest daily increase in cases since mid-April. Seven of the 13 new cases reported Thursday were in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and the state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, said Thursday evening that they did “not appear to be connected,” but that the cases were still being investigated.

A total of 430 Alaskans have tested positive for the coronavirus since March, and 367 have recovered. Ten Alaskans with the virus have died.

The new cases announced Friday reflect the positive test results reported to the state on Thursday. The cases include a child under the age of 10, one person between the ages of 10 and 19, two people in their 20s and a person in their 60s.

Health officials continue to emphasize several ways to keep from spreading the illness to others, including hand-washing, staying a minimum of 6 feet away from non-household members, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and wearing a cloth face covering.

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