Coronavirus case count reaches 300, but PPE stores improve

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(MGN Image)(KWQC)
Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 4:52 PM AKDT
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State officials are giving an update as of 5 p.m. on April 16. You can stream the press conference live on or the Channel 2 Facebook page. Updates will be shared on Channel 2 News and KYES-TV, the later of which will air the conference in full.

Alaska's coronavirus case count has reached 300, according to the Department of Health and Social Services, with seven new cases announced Thursday. The new cases include four in Anchorage, two in Juneau, and one in Kodiak, with five of the patients male and two female. One is under the age of 10.

A total of 8,735 tests have been administered, the state said, with 3.4 percent coming back positive. One hundred and ten recoveries have been recorded.

The number of cumulative coronavirus hospitalizations has risen by one and now sits at 35. DHSS reported Thursday that 41 people total are currently hospitalized in relation to the virus, but many of those patients considered "under investigation" and not confirmed cases.

Like some local leaders, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink also suggested people begin to keep a log of where they went in case they are asked for further information, particularly as epidemiologists track close contacts and potential exposure of patients.

People are also being asked to locally source as much as possible when it comes to personal protective equipment, Zink said. According to the state, supplies are being donated, are coming in from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and are being purchased and paid for by COVID-19-dedicated funds through state and federal agencies.

Unemployment benefits questions, such as when the overcrowded nature of the related phone lines might dissipate, were asked, with the state saying Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Tamika Ledbetter would be in attendance to answer questions on Friday.

Regarding the opening of certain economic sectors, the state is closely watching trends as that begins to happen.

"The moment we see something that is a spike or cluster, we will act quickly," Gov. Mike Dunleavy said. "Things will be done a little differently, but we've had good conversations, and we're working slowly, carefully."

Thursday's update comes after Dunleavy announced that

, with even more entities allowed to resume operations on May 4. He again mentioned retail as the next potential option for reopening.

This story is being updated.
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