State reports largest daily spike in nonresident coronavirus cases, with 18 positives

The Ocean Beauty seafood plant in Kodiak, photographed in 2017. (Photo by Eric Keto/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The state health department on Thursday reported 26 new coronavirus cases, 18 of which were among nonresidents. All but one of those were seafood workers, with 12 located on the Kenai Peninsula.

The numbers are based on positive tests reported throughout the day on Wednesday.

The 18 new nonresident cases mark the largest surge in such cases in one day. The total number of nonresident coronavirus cases now stands at 41. The majority of those have been seafood workers.

Among the eight new Alaska resident cases, four were from Anchorage, three on the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and one in the Mat-Su Borough.

Twelve of the nonresident cases were among nonresident seafood workers on the Kenai Peninsula. A spokesperson from the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Brenda Ahlberg, said that the borough had not been informed by any seafood industry companies about any clusters of positive tests.

There were also three positive tests among nonresident seafood workers from the Aleutian census area. Two of the cases were announced by Icicle Seafoods Wednesday.

One positive nonresident test was reported on Kodiak Island and another was reported in Anchorage. One out-of-state resident tested positive in Sitka. It’s unclear where they work and state data says “other industry.”

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Note: This story previously reported misstated the number of total positive cases reported on ThursdayThe correct number is 26.

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