Alaska governor, House member test positive for COVID-19
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and was at his home near Wasilla with mild symptoms, his office said.
Dunleavy “is still acting in his capacity as the state’s chief executive and will work from home just as he has been since he entered self-quarantine on Sunday,” spokesperson Jeff Turner said by email.
Dunleavy, 59, had been in quarantine since learning Sunday he had been identified as a close contact to someone who had tested positive for COVID-19, his office said. At the time, he felt well and tested negative, and he continued to feel well until Tuesday night, his office said.
He was tested Wednesday, and the results came back positive, a release from his office said.
Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s chief medical officer, during a briefing with reporters did not say if Dunleavy’s wife had been tested, and Turner said he did not have that information. Zink also did not answer a question about the circumstances surrounding Dunleavy’s exposure. His office said previously that he was told he had been in close contact on Saturday with a person who was later found to be positive for COVID-19.
Zink did say that because Dunleavy went into quarantine when he did there were “no known exposures to him being positive.”
Dunleavy is doing well overall, with mild symptoms, she said. Zink did not specify those symptoms.
Zink and the governor’s attending physician are monitoring him and will provide the public with updates “as needed,” Dunleavy’s office said.
At least nine governors around the country have tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, a member of the Alaska House tested positive for COVID-19, Speaker Louise Stutes said in an email to fellow representatives Wednesday.
Stutes said committee hearings were canceled for Thursday. “I am asking that members and staff not enter the building tomorrow unless absolutely necessary in order to allow the appropriate response, contact tracing, and cleaning to occur,” she said.
“It is with the deepest regret that I take this drastic measure but the safety of members of this House, as well as supporting staff is paramount,” Stutes said.
Austin Baird, communications director for the Alaska House Coalition, said he had no further information to share.
Daniel McDonald with the Senate majority press office said the Senate planned to continue working. He said he would provide an update if those plans changed.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death.