Kodiak reported eight new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the archipelago’s active case total to 27. There have been 171 positive cases recorded since the start of the pandemic. Seven Kodiakans recently completed their quarantine period and dropped off the active list.
One of the cases from Monday’s tally was someone from an off-the-road-system village, Public Health Nurse Bonny Weed said. In order to protect privacy, officials do not release where exactly a positive case happened if it was in a town or village with fewer than 1,000 people.
It’s not the first time the villages have seen an active case. In August, there was an outbreak at OBI Seafood’s remote Alitak facility, where close to 40 workers tested positive. But all of those employees were transported to Anchorage for treatment.
Another time, Weed said, someone with an address in a Kodiak village tested positive, but they were living in Anchorage at the time.
In response to the positive case in one of the villages, Port Lions published a public notice outlining new safety measures the village is implementing. Anyone traveling to Port Lions from off-island needs to get tested before traveling, the notice advises, and then get tested again at the village clinic after five to seven days. Anyone who doesn’t want to be tested will have to quarantine for 14 days.
“We had this plan in place all along. We kind of expected that at some point we’d have to deal with it in the villages,” Port Lions Mayor Dorinda Kewan said.
“So this plan was something we were ready to implement when we felt it was time to do so.”
While the requirements don’t apply to visitors traveling from Kodiak to Port Lions, Kewan said the city was still urging everyone to follow the state borough guidelines and make smart choices about small social bubbles, masks and social distancing.
All visitors will be logged and recorded to keep track of who is coming and going. City offices will also be closed to the public but available by phone.
Elsewhere in Alaska, Rep. Don Young said he was on the mend after coming down with COVID-19 last week. The 87-year-old, 25-term congressman spent the last few days at Providence Health Center in Anchorage recovering from the virus but is now home.
“I have been discharged and continue recovering and working from home in Alaska. Very frankly, I had not felt this sick in a very long time, and I am grateful to everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers,” Young said in a press release.
The Department of Health and Social Services reported a record-high 745 positive cases on Saturday, followed by 654 cases on Sunday and 563 on Monday. Hospitalizations also reached a new high on Monday at 121.
Of the 563 cases reported on Monday, 556 were Alaska residents: 351 in Anchorage, 39 in Bethel, 35 in Eagle River, 21 in Wasilla, 15 in Fairbanks,12 in Soldotna, eight in Delta Junction, eight in Homer, eight in Juneau, six in Palmer, six in Kenai, five in Chugiak, three in North Pole, three in Nome, two in Seward, two in Kotzebue, and one each in Kodiak, Girdwood, Sterling, Sutton-Alpine, Douglas, Sitka, Chevak and Hooper Bay.