North Star Elementary and Kodiak High School will close until Monday for deep cleaning after each facility reported one positive COVID-19 case on Thursday.
Additionally, three new positive COVID-19 cases in Kodiak, all travel-related, were announced by the Kodiak Area Emergency Services Organization on the same day..
It was unclear whether the cases at the school were included in the EOC’s announcement.
North Star and high school students were sent home after the positive cases were identified.
“As per district protocols, all students or staff who have been in close contact with a positive case will be notified of a 14-day quarantine,” said a notice published on the Kodiak Island Borough School District’s website.
Close contacts with the positive case at the high school will also be notified to quarantine for 14 days.
Contact investigations connected with all the new cases are also underway, according to an EOC press release.
“Health care staff will remain in contact with the individual to ensure continued self-isolation and care,” said the press release.
The new cases were reported one day after high school principal Neil Hecht and his family announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He said he may have been in close contact with someone who was exhibiting COVID-like symptoms.
School Superintendent Larry LeDoux said the reaction to the announcement about the school closures has been calm, demonstrating the success of the high school’s safety plans.
“A lot of the planning that we have done is working well. Everything is calm and organized,” he said.
Four of the positive cases since Oct. 20 have occurred among Coast Guard service members.
Coast Guard spokesperson Kip Wadlow said three of the cases were from crew members on the Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro who contracted the virus from an unknown source.
The other service member who tested positive is stationed on base and contracted the virus after traveling to the Lower 48.
The city of Kodiak is still classified as the lowest risk level — green — despite reporting 24 cases in two weeks, said ESC Director Mike Tvenge at a community update streamed online on Thursday.
Tvenge urged residents to postpone travel since Anchorage’s case count has risen rapidly in recent weeks.
He also advised travelers returning to Kodiak to be tested after arrival and to stay home for a few days before returning to work.