Kodiak reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the 10th consecutive business day that new positives have been detected on the island. It’s the longest string of new cases since the virus was first found in Kodiak in April.
Thursday also marked the sixth day that Kodiak has been at the yellow risk level, described as “low to medium” levels of community spread.
The two cases announced Thursday by the Kodiak Emergency Services Council were in residents who had been in close proximity to someone who had previously contracted the virus.
Since April 15, Kodiak has had 140 cases, with 36 currently active and 104 recovered.
Of the total cases, 34% of patients were between the ages of 20 and 29; 15% were between 30 and 39; 10% were between 50 and 69; and fewer than 5% were between 70 and 79.
Most of the people who contracted the virus were residents, with just 50 considered non-resident.
The majority of virus transmission has been categorized as “close contacts,” or people who were in close proximity to a person who tested positive for COVID-19. In total, 68 patients were considered close contacts, while 55 patients contracted the virus through travel.
To date, there have been 22 cases of community spread, meaning the patients are not sure how or where they became infected.
As cases continue to rise in Kodiak and across the state, Kodiak ESC Director Mike Tvenge warned community members what might happen if precautionary measures like social distancing and wearing masks are not taken.
“The message of quarantine upon arrival, get a test or stay home if you get sick is not universally accepted,” he said, adding that the state has given local governments the authority to manage and mitigate the health emergency.
Tvenge warned that if cases continue to rise, businesses may have to close again. He also said that a wider range of businesses might be restricted from opening than during Kodiak’s hunker-down period earlier in the year, when only essential businesses were allowed to stay open.
“We may not follow the earlier definitions of what an essential business is,” Tvenge said. “Descriptions were quite broad and may be retracted to allow for control of the virus.”
Tvenge said that without any promise of additional federal funding to help pay for costs incurred by the pandemic, businesses should not plan on receiving additional emergency funds if they were required to close.
He urged the community to take responsibility to protect themselves from getting and spreading the virus.
The local EOC has gotten support from the state and the Alaska Department of Transportation to have greeters at Kodiak Benny Benson State Airport to inform recent arrivals about quarantine and testing requirements, as well as local restrictions.