PALMER, Alaska — Over the summer months, Alaska’s restaurants filled up, the state invited tourists to come explore and fisheries workers arrived by the thousands to live in crowded bunkhouses. And yet the coronavirus remained largely in check.

Of course, Alaska had the benefit of isolation and wide-open spaces. But officials had also developed a containment effort unlike any other in the country, doing more testing than almost every other state and then tracking every person who came back positive with an army of contact tracers, following up with daily phone calls for those infected and all their close contacts.

It paid off: Even with the extensive search for possible infections, Alaska was recording some of the fewest coronavirus cases per capita in the nation.

Now, as temperatures

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