Kodiak health officials announced Thursday that the island’s third confirmed positive COVID-19 case was not travel-related as previously thought.
The person who contracted the virus last travelled a few months ago, which means the virus was most likely passed through community transmission, said Public Health Nurse Elsa DeHart at a Kodiak Emergency Services Council live broadcast on Thursday.
The investigation into the case has been completed, and those who have been in close contact with the patient have already been notified, she said.
“If you haven't been contacted, you don't need to worry,” DeHart said, adding that the public should continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
Mike Tvenge, the director of the Kodiak Emergency Services Council, announced at the live broadcast that Kodiak received a report on Sunday of a 200-foot catcher-processor vessel possibly coming from Dutch Harbor with a potential positive COVID-19 case onboard.
The vessel bypassed Kodiak after calling the Kodiak Harbormaster’s Office to inquire about the city’s policies and procedures related to COVID-19.
A harbormaster officer told the captain of the vessel “that we are under our local plan, there is the two-week quarantine still in effect for people coming in,” said Monte Anderson, the acting harbormaster.
Anderson reiterated that fishing is an essential service and boats are allowed to tie up in Kodiak, but crew members must abide by the Kodiak Harbor Use Agreement.
Tvenge said vessels must follow reporting protocols required by the U.S. Coast Guard and report any illness onboard that may affect the safety of the vessel or port facility.
As more people arrive on the island — which had over 80 arrivals and departures through the airport this week — Tvenge said the city is working with Alaska Airlines on public awareness about coronavirus guidelines.
Following meetings between city officials and the airlines, the airport has information placed at the terminal to remind incoming passengers about precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and to follow state guidelines.
Tvenge also reminded the public that the Emergency Operations Council is no longer distributing cloth masks at designated areas around the city, but still offers free masks to those who call the center’s number.
Groups that have events planned are encouraged to request masks if needed, he said.
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported 17 new positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 611, of which 397 have recovered.