Two more confirmed case of COVID-19 in Alaska reported in Fairbanks

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 7:56 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A second and third confirmed case of COVID-19 in Alaska have been reported in Fairbanks according to officials with Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

According to Dr. Michael Burton of Fairbanks Memorial, the first patient sought treatment in the emergency room Sunday night and was subsequently tested for and diagnosed with COVID-19 Monday.

The male patient is reportedly at home and "doing much better today," according to Burton.

FMH officials declined to provide any additional details about the age of the patient, nor of any travel history.

Alaska's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink said she learned of the two confirmed cases late Monday evening following a press briefing she took part in with Gov. Dunleavy.

Zink said both cases are "travel-associated cases" and that the Department of Epidemiology is investigating all of the contacts those individuals had after traveling out of state. Zink said both had recently been in an area or areas of the lower 48 with "sustained, ongoing community-community transmission" before returning to Alaska.

She says both individuals had been back in Alaska for "a period of time" and had traveled "around different areas" which state health officials are working to identify as part of an ongoing investigation.

Zink says that anyone who may have had contact with the two individuals, both of whom she described as older males, will be contacted by the state's epidemiology team in the coming hours and days.

In a statement Monday night following the FMH announcement, Gov. Mike Dunleavy praised the hospital's response.

“The preparation and training staff members have done not only in the recent weeks, but over the years has prepared them for today," Dunleavy's statement said in part. "We knew there would be cases in Alaska and over time we are expecting more cases.”

The state’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was reported by the state on Thursday. State health officials say the patient is a pilot for a private cargo company.

Copyright KTUU 2020. All rights reserved.