On Saturday, August 1, 2020, Wrangell’s Unified Command was notified of one new confirmed COVID-19 case. This new case is a close contact of one of last week’s confirmed cases and is also a local resident. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services reported yesterday that Wrangell had 4 active resident COVID cases and 2 active non-resident cases. That would mean today’s count is 5 active resident COVID cases and 2 active non-resident cases for a total of 7 known active cases in Wrangell.

Health officials have found evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in Wrangell. Community transmission happens when there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 and there is no source of infection identified in some of the cases and cannot be directly traced back to a known exposure. Due to the identification of community transmission, and to reduce the spread of COVID-19, health officials and the local EOC are reinforcing the importance of practicing social distancing, wearing a mask or face covering when in public spaces, frequent hand washing and staying home when sick.

The Section of Epidemiology has been notified and Public Health Officials will begin investigating the case and conduct contact tracing. A Public Health representative will notify persons who may have come in close contact with the individual. Questions about close contact should be directed to Public Health in Petersburg at 907.772.4611. Please continue to take precautionary measures to stay healthy:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your elbow.

• Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water.

• Wear a mask when out in public when you cannot ensure six feet of social distancing as this could minimize the spread of COVID-19.

• Continue to socially distance. This means protecting you and your household members from getting sick. Avoid breaking your home bubble of protection.

• Monitor your health and that of your household members and call the COVID hotline with any questions.
If you are experiencing symptoms, please call the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 907.966.8799. Patients with chronic illnesses, or considered high-risk, should contact their provider immediately if they show symptoms. Low-risk patients should self-isolate, should they become sick. Continued adherence to virus preventive practices, as well as State and local health mandates, is highly recommended. Visit covid19.alaska.gov, wrangellcovid19.org, and covid19.searhc.org for the latest coronavirus information, or contact the Wrangell COVID Hotline at 907.874.2684.