Juneau’s COVID-19 case counts are slowly dropping, but city officials encourage testing

A masked city bus driver makes his way through downtown on Thursday, July 29, 2021 in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

A woman from out-of-state who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Juneau died, though it’s not clear exactly when. Juneau’s incident commander  Mila Cosgrove says the woman was in her 60s and state health officials reported it to the city on Tuesday. She was receiving care outside of Juneau when she died, according to a press release from the city.

The state also reported 14 more COVID-19 cases for Juneau on Tuesday. According to the most recent report from the Emergency Operations Center, case counts have declined slightly.

City officials are encouraging COVID-19 testing for people who develop symptoms or are exposed to a COVID-19 positive person, those who need regular testing for their jobs, and people who work in settings where they’re regularly interacting with the public unmasked.

The city is holding pop-up COVID-19 testing clinics Monday through Thursday. No appointments are required for the clinics. They’ll take place at Glacier Valley Elementary School, the 20th Century Theatre on Front Street, and Dzantik’i Heeni middle school.

Cosgrove says the city wanted to give people who have transportation issues other resources for testing. The city’s Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center, where most of its tests are offered, is ten miles from downtown Juneau.

Four people are currently being treated for COVID-19 at Bartlett Regional Hospital. Hospital staff say they’re having difficulty transporting patients because ICU beds in other locations throughout the state and Pacific Northwest are full. Bartlett staff are stretched thin, but the hospital reports that it is stable.

The Juneau School District reported seven new COVID-19 cases including one at Thunder Mountain High School where all classes are operating on regular schedules; three at the Mendenhall River Community School where one class has been quarantined; one each at Dzantik’i Heeni and Floyd Dryden middle schools where all classes are still operating regularly; and one at Sayeik: Gastineau Elementary where one class is quarantined as a result.

Statewide, 691 people tested positive for COVID-19 and the state reported seven more deaths on Tuesday. So far 451 Alaskans and 15 people visiting the state have died from COVID-19.

A previous version of this story said that an out-of-state visitor died of COVID-19 in Juneau. The visitor was initially diagnosed with COVID-19 in Juneau, but was receiving care outside of Juneau when she died. The story has been corrected.

Rashah McChesney

Daily News Editor, KTOO

I help the newsroom establish daily news priorities and do hands-on editing to ensure a steady stream of breaking and enterprise news for a local and regional audience.

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