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Here is the latest Alaska news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. AKDT

Here is the latest Alaska news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. AKDT
Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 1:43 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Health officials say a rise in COVID-19 cases is taxing Anchorage’s ability to investigate cases. The Anchorage Daily News reports the city and state are working to expand contact tracing abilities as local cases increase with people interacting more. Tracking contacts of people who have tested positive is an important tool in efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Anchorage Health Department Director Natasha Pineda says cases are emerging with more contacts. Earlier in the pandemic, people may have interacted with three to five people. But she says some now report dozens of contacts.

UNDATED (AP) — The National Park Service says a small airplane made an emergency landing in Denali National Park and Preserve, and the two people inside the plane were rescued shortly thereafter. The park service says a Cessna 180 landed about 11 a.m. Thursday near the Eielson Visitor Center, an interpretive center and rest stop at mile 66 of Denali Park Road. Park Service employees airlifted the two people in the plane to McKinley National Park Airport, near the entrance of the park, where they were met by emergency medical services personnel from the Tri-Valley Volunteer Fire Department. The park service says neither person was injured.

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — An official at one Alaska village says residents have been humiliated and discriminated against after the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. announced two people who were in the village tested positive for COVID-19. KYUK reports Napaskiak Tribal Administrator Sharon Williams says village residents have been turned away from businesses in the nearby hub community of Bethel, even though they are adhering to proper COVID-19 protocols. Williams says she's not sure there has been community spread in the village just southwest of Bethel. But the health corporation says it stands by its assessment and believes it was important to make an announcement.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage officials and trade groups have released new suggested guidelines they hope bars and restaurants will adopt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Anchorage Daily News reported city health officials say several entertainment and hospitality businesses in the municipality have been linked to recent COVID-19 cases. The suggested precautions were announced during a briefing by Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, Anchorage Health Department Director Natasha Pineda and trade group officials. The suggestions include closing earlier and admitting fewer customers, requiring patrons to wear masks, adding outdoor seating and taking steps to limit circumstances that reduce physical distancing.