ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – You can streaming full replays of this press conference on the Internet Channel 2 Facebook page. Updates will also be shared on Channel 2 Newshour and Late Edition.
With 13 new cases of coronavirus and another death from Alaska reported on Wednesday, state officials said they were still working to do everything they could to build a health care system and slow the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Although the number of Alaskan coronavirus cases continues to increase, as expected, the state also reported the full recovery of dozens of people. As for the recent death, the death was a Anchorage woman in her forties, officials said.
New cases include but are not limited to one at Mat-Su Borough, at least six at Fairbanks North Star Borough, and at least three in Anchorage. There are cases in children under the age of ten that are included in the total number of cases, which currently sit at 226.
The state also said a total of 7,068 tests have been carried out to date. At least 32 people have fully recovered from the virus, according to DHSS counts on Wednesday.
Regarding the buildup of health infrastructure, there is still a global shortage of many items of personal protective equipment, but DHSS has requested 3 million N-95 masks and more testing for Alaska.
“Testing is a very big focus for us,” Zink said, “but we have limitations all over the world. That is why one of the numbers I follow is a positive percentage. Are we superior in testing compared to casing?
“And the more we can slow down the case and continue to test, I would say it is the one I think about most internally,” he said. “How much capacity have I collected compared to the number of cases?”
The state has asked for far more PPE than it has received, Zink said, adding that Alaska’s needs were far more than those on the original list.
Governor Mike Dunleavy also spoke to one of the mandates issued in March, specifically regarding elective surgery, which was later extended from Tuesday to June 15, but specifically mentioned termination of services such as surgical abortion.
“And a question arises,” said Dunleavy. “‘Are we being political?’ The answer is, ‘No, we don’t play politics.
“We are trying to assess all the PPE we have,” he said, “and we ask all our professionals who have a clinic if they can delay elective surgery, elective work, so that we can survive for this PPE.”
From an economic perspective, Dunleavy said there was still no exact date for certain actions, for example when unemployment benefits would be distributed to Alaska.
“We will move this fast,” he said. “We know the longer we wait, there will be more damage to the economy.”
Wednesday’s update came after Alaska saw it the biggest increase in the case of coronavirus to date the day before, along with the changes to several mandates throughout the state.
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