COVID-19 cases trending downward in Anchorage

 Downtown Anchorage
Downtown Anchorage (KTUU)
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 2:02 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The number of new COVID-19 cases reported each day is trending downward in Anchorage and state health officials say it may be tied to the mitigation strategies that have been implemented.

“This is a real positive sign that things are improving right now in Anchorage and may be well an indication that the mandates that are in place in Anchorage are working, so that is really encouraging,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin said during a media availability on Thursday.

In the last few days, the state has seen daily case counts fall below triple digits.

There were 39 people hospitalized with confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, according to the state’s dashboard.

“The case count statewide overall are being driven largely by what’s happening or what is happening in Anchorage, and so you can see that the case counts are really on the decline, have been on the decline in Anchorage,” he said.

Dr. McLaughlin also provided an update on the outbreak at the Anchorage Pioneer home where 12 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

DHSS says ten elders and two staff members have tested positive. These cases are in addition to the four prior cases announced in early August.

“As we have found with other long-term care facilities, these are really concerning outbreaks and so they are doing all they can and will continue surveillance, heightened surveillance beyond their routine screening until we go a couple weeks without any cases,” nurse epidemiologist Donna Fearey said.

The facility just wrapped up a second round of testing of its 145 staff and 141 residents.

“The plan is to test all residents in the affected neighborhood every three days and all staff and the rest of the residents weekly, there are currently no visitors allowed at the facility,” Dr. McLaughlin said.

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