Alaska COVID-19 update: A ninth death, eight new cases and 13 more recoveries

This transmission electron microscope image shows the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Rocky Mountain Laboratories)

A 33-year-old woman from Wasilla has died from COVID-19, according the state Department of Health and Social Services.

She is the ninth Alaskan whose death is linked to the disease, and the first from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Two of the Alaskans died out of state.

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, said the woman had pre-existing conditions, and died in an Anchorage hospital on Sunday. The health department believes the woman acquired the disease locally.

“It’s just a reminder of how underlying medical conditions can really put people at risk,” Zink said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that older adults and people at any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

The state health department also reported that another eight Alaskans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total to 285 by the end of the day Monday. The number who have recovered from the disease rose by 13, to 98. The total number of hospitalizations remained unchanged, at 32.

View the state’s data here.

Of the new cases, four of the Alaskans are from Anchorage, one is from Girdwood, one is from Wasilla, one is from Craig and one is an employee at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau. It’s the fourth correctional officer at the prison who has tested positive for the disease.

By Tuesday evening, another two employees at the prison had been diagnosed with the disease, according to the Alaska Department of Corrections. No inmates had tested positive, the department said.

Related: 2 more staffers at Lemon Creek Correctional Center test positive for COVID-19

The two new case will likely appear in the state’s count on Wednesday because of its 24-hour reporting cycle.

So will the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the Bering Strait region. The case was announced by the the North Sound Health Corp. in a statement on Tuesday. The person has been self-isolating, and a spokeswoman for the health care organization declined to say which community the person is from.

RelatedFirst COVID case announced in Bering Strait region

More than 8,300 tests have been administered in Alaska.

Across the United States, the CDC reported more than 575,000 COVID-19 cases and 22,252 deaths. 

Get the latest coverage of the coronavirus.

Reach reporter Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@alaskapublic.org or 907-550-8447.

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Tegan Hanlon is the deputy digital editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at thanlon@alaskapublic.org.

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