One of Anchorage’s COVID-19 cases involves JBER airman who traveled overseas

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An unidentified U.S. Air Force airman based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson has tested positive for COVID-19, the base said in a statement Thursday.

JBER said the airman recently returned from overseas and is “self-quarantined at their off-base residence.”

This case was one of three Anchorage cases — all travel-related — announced by the state earlier this week, according to a JBER spokesperson. The state’s first positive case of COVID-19, which was announced last week, involved a cargo pilot traveling through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Alaska had nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday night.

JBER is currently under Health Protection Condition Bravo, which means no hand-shaking, strict hygiene requirements, limiting gatherings to 50 people or fewer and frequently disinfecting regularly touched items, according to Air Force Master Sgt. Jonathan Foster, a base spokeman.

Anyone who tests positive will be self-quarantined and anyone who feels they may have been exposed to the virus should isolate themselves and wear a mask if going outside, Foster said.


Foster said anyone on base who believes they may have been exposed to the virus should call the base hospital at 907-580-4014.

Other precautions currently in place on the joint base include a no-touch identification policy when entering the base, meaning people must show their ID and turn it over to be scanned before coming on base. The base has also ended dine-in eating at the military mall food court.

The military will be hosting an online town hall meeting on Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to discuss COVID-19 and other issues related to Aurora Housing, which handles housing on base. According to the Aurora Housing website, the housing provider has taken steps to limit the spread of coronavirus, including closing the community and self-help centers, suspending in-person office appointments and modifying its maintenance requirements.

Matt Tunseth

Matt Tunseth is a former reporter for the Anchorage Daily News and former editor of the Alaska Star.