Despite mainstream media reports that “Alaska saw a big jump in new daily COVID-19 cases Thursday,” the state’s chief medical officer Anne Zink said it was not a significant rise given increased testing.
“This is our second highest testing day overall since we started this pandemic, so there were a lot of tests that were done overall,” Zink said following the report that Alaska had 13 new cases on May 28. Zink added that the percent of positive tests was 0.9%.
“From our perspective there is no cause for alarm with these numbers,” Dunleavy said.
Zink encouraged Alaskans to continue following state guidelines regarding masks, social distancing and handwashing.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy has repeatedly said that Alaska will see more positive tests as the economy opens up. On May 29, however, the numbers fell back down with just five new cases.
“Our numbers will increase over time as people start to mix more and get out more and that is exactly what’s going to happen,” he reiterated on May 28. “From our perspective there is no cause for alarm with these numbers – plenty of hospital capacity, PPE – just like we talked about.”
Dunleavy emphasized that the state’s priority is to keep Alaskans safe while allowing businesses and society to recover from the pandemic’s devastating economic fallout.
“There’s talk about a vaccine in a year, year and a half, but between now and then we all have to work together,” he said. “I’m optimistic and we will keep Alaskans informed every step of the way.”
As of May 29, the state had only 53 active cases of COVID-19 with just 14 hospitalizations. Out of 49,439 tests given since March 2, the state has reported 430 positive cases with 367 confirmed recoveries.