Cargo flight was vector of first COVID-19 case in Alaska

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The first positive COVID-19 test in Alaska is associated with a cargo flight into Anchorage.

    On Thursday, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport was notified that an individual associated with a cargo flight tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

    According to transportation commissioner John MacKinnon, the patient is a foreign national who developed a fever and respiratory symptoms shortly after arriving in Anchorage March 11. The patient immediately contacted their physician and then went to Alaska Regional Hospital for testing.

    Cargo flights to Anchorage strictly adhere to guidelines set out by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Cargo flights are completely separate from any passenger flights. Cargo crewmembers never come into contact with general passengers and they do not access the main terminal. Cargo crewmembers are cleared through U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at ANC’s North Terminal.

    Cargo is not considered a health risk according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. Information will be provided on the CDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus website as it becomes available.


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