Dr. Zink provides update on COVID-19 to assembly

    Dr. Anne Zink and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink went over Juneau's work to prevent and monitor COVID-19 during the pandemic.

    Dr. Zink praised Juneau for all the work they have done to reduce the number of cases of COVID-19.  She reassured them about the governor's decision to start to reopen the business community.

    Juneau has had 27 cases, with 18 patients recovered, and a total of six patients hospitalized.

    Hospital CEO Chuck Bill said five patients were treated at Bartlett, recovered, and have been discharged.

    Travel was the cause of the first case in Juneau.  We have had far more secondary cases than contact cases.

    She said they are working to have quicker local testing.  She noted aggressive testing and contact tracing, along with social distancing and isolation have led to some communities reopening quicker.

    "We are trying to take the lid off a little at a time," she explained.

    About 2.9 percent of the population has been tested in Juneau.  Alaska is testing about 22 residents per thousand.  The positive test rate is 2.1 percent.  The World Health Organization recommends communities not consider opening back up if the positive test rate is 10 percent or higher.

    Dr. Zink said she felt Juneau has enough testing capacity and staff to investigate contact tracing at this time to reopen businesses.

    She said the state laboratory has tested about 2,000 patients per week, and their capacity is more than 7,000 per week.

    She said they are also getting testing materials quicker and that most health care facilities have enough medical supplies for 60 days.



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