Fairbanks Records 3rd COVID-19 Death

Jul 23, 2020

A Fairbanks woman has died from COVID-19. The state Department of Health and Social Services reports that the woman was in her 80s and had pre-existing medical conditions. She is the 3rd Fairbanks North Star Borough resident, and 19th Alaskan to die from the virus.

The DHSS announced 94 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, 92 of which were Alaska residents in 15 communities.

There were four new hospitalizations reported Wednesday, raising the number of those hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases statewide, to a new high of 34.  During a press conference Wednesday night, state chief medical officer Dr. Anne Zink said health care capacity remains in good shape, but that testing result turn around is lagging due to the current case surge.

…quickly as possible.”

Zink said the state is also struggling to keep up with contact tracing.

…at higher risk.”

The state is trying to hire more contact tracers and Dr. Zink urged Alaskans to keep track of their close contacts.

…to pull back.”

Alaska has the highest rate of Covid 19 transmission in the country, but Dr. Zink cautioned that the statistic is not an accurate indicator for large states with small populations.

…well for us.”

Dr. Zink said it is clear that people in their 20’s and 30’s are driving the current case spike, and that the disease is being transmitted through close contact in a wide range of venues.

Social distancing and masking remain the key preventative measures, and Governor Dunleavy announced last night, that as of today, face coverings are required at state buildings and facilities when social distancing is not possible. 

…a face mask.”

Earlier this summer, attorney general Kevin Clarkson challenged an Anchorage mask mandate’s applicability to state facilities and workers. Dunleavy says the change in perspective reflects the current case spike. Asked repeatedly whether he will mandate masking statewide, the governor maintained such decisions are best made at the local level.

…never seen the virus.”

Dunleavy called on Alaskans to reduce their public activity, and interactions over the next two weeks to try to slow disease transmission.