Ferry Passenger Tests Positive For COVID-19 Upon Arrival In Alaska

Alaska has had its share of coping up with the rising number of COVID-19 cases. So far, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services revealed having 32 confirmed cases as of Sunday. There were also 27 cases among locals and five from nonresidents.

Breaking down those numbers, the 23 new cases are from Anchorage, three in Fairbanks, two in Seward and one each from Palmer, Valdez, Petersburg and the Bristol Bay Area. Of the cases in Anchorage, 22 were residents, per the coronavirus response site.

Of those cases, there was one passenger aboard the Alaska Marine Highway System who tested positive for COVID-19. The same passenger tested negative before departing Bellingham, Washington, last June 27. He was part of the passengers of the Kennicott ferry and it remains unclear how he got infected. It was also not mentioned where he contracted the strain, per the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities website.

The said passenger only had close contact with one person while on the ferry. The individual was a companion, someone he shared private sleeping quarters with. Both wore protective face coverings and practiced social distancing against others onboard. They stayed on board until arriving in Whittier, then reboarded the Kennicott on July 3 for a new sailing to Cordova. It was here where the passenger tested positive for COVID-19.

Furthermore, the passenger had reportedly developed a mild allergy-like symptom. The individual allegedly did not think it was tied to COVID-19. The passenger is a nonresident in the Valdez-Cordova census area. Both were isolated and did not come into contact with anyone else.

ferry The ferry MV Thomas Aquinas sank off the coast of Philippines, killing at least 17. Hundreds were rescued after jumping into the ocean. Shipspotting, Bermejo Imaging

“This is an example of everyone doing everything right,” Dr. Anne Zink, Chief Medical Officer for Alaska, said. “But this is a sneaky virus and travel is inherently risky during a global pandemic.”

In all, Alaska has 1,373 COVID-19 confirmed cases. The 235 are nonresidents while 1,138 are Alaskans. As of Sunday, there were 753 active cases. There are 604 people who have recovered from the COVID-19 strain. Sixteen Alaskans have already died and 72 people have been hospitalized. No additional deaths of hospitalized individuals were reported as of Sunday.

Join the Discussion