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Alaska News

Ferry passenger tests positive for coronavirus on arrival in Alaska

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The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 32 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Sunday, with 27 cases in Alaskans and five cases in nonresidents.

Twenty-three of the new cases announced Sunday were in Anchorage. There were three cases in Fairbanks, two in Seward and one case each in Palmer, Valdez, Petersburg and the Bristol Bay area. Twenty-two of the cases in Anchorage were in residents, according to the state’s coronavirus response site.

The Department of Transportation announced Sunday that a recent passenger on the Alaska Marine Highway System had tested positive for COVID-19. The passenger tested negative for the virus before departing Bellingham, Washington, on June 27 aboard the Kennicott ferry, the department said in an online statement. It’s unclear when or where the passenger became infected or contagious, DOT said.

The passenger and a travel companion complied with social distancing and did not have any close contact with others on board, the statement said. They boarded another vessel to Cordova after the Kennicott reached Whittier on July 3. Testing in Cordova showed the passenger had COVID-19. The passenger was counted in state totals as a nonresident in the Valdez-Cordova area.

In total, there have been 1,373 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alaska. Nonresidents account for 235 of the confirmed cases and the other 1,138 cases are Alaskans. On Sunday there were 753 active cases statewide. There have been 604 people that have recovered from the virus in Alaska.

Sixteen Alaskans have died of the virus and 72 people have been hospitalized. The state did not report any additional deaths or hospitalizations Sunday.

Sunday’s case announcements follow a week of record-breaking COVID-19 numbers in Alaska. There were several days last week that included case counts higher than 50.

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