2 additional Alaskans died with COVID-19 in May, DHSS says

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Department of Health and Social Services has added two more deaths to the state’s COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total to 14.

Both of the deaths were Juneau residents who were living outside of the state in long term care facilities in Washington and New Jersey, a department spokesperson said Friday.

The deaths occurred in early May but DHSS spokesperson Clinton Bennett said they were recently reported to the state.

The coronavirus data hub presented by the state must include the cases and deaths reported in residents — even if those occur outside the state — in compliance with national standards for reporting vital records.

The department is reporting 30 new cases in Alaska Friday with 20 resident cases in six regions, bringing the resident total to 836. There are now 303 active cases of COVID-19 in Alaska residents.

  • Municipality of Anchorage: 7

  • Kenai Peninsula Borough: 2

  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 3

  • Juneau City and Borough: 3

  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough: 4

  • Sitka City and Borough: 1

There were also 10 new non-resident cases reported for Thursday, bringing the non-resident cases in the state to 167.

  • Municipality of Anchorage: 3

  • Nome: 1

  • Bethel: 1

  • Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Area: 5

The five new cases recorded in the Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula Area were workers in the seafood industry, DHSS said.

There are 12 people currently hospitalized with — or suspected to have — the virus.

The Norton Sound Health Corp. said one of the new cases was a patient at the Quyanna Care Center who tested positive during routine testing.

"Given the congregate nature of our nursing home and the population served, NSHC implemented a strong infection prevention and control program at a very early stage of the pandemic to protect both our residents and health care personnel," NSHC President/CEO Angie Gorn said. "We are blessed to have access to asymptomatic testing, which has led to quick identification of cases and immediate isolation to stave off spread."

The corporation said the patient was asymptomatic but had not left the area in the past three months.

This story has been updated to reflect a change in coronavirus data reporting, adding one new case to the Juneau City and Borough resident totals.

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