Wrangell has had 20 cases of COVID-19 so far, with no active cases currently in the community. The case count for the entire state of Alaska is 9,861 cases to date. That’s an increase of 1081 cases from last week, definitely on the rise. As of today, 310 people have required hospitalization. That includes 17 new hospitalizations over the last week. And as of today, 59 people have died. Three of those deaths have occurred during the last week. For more data, you can visit the COVID data hub.

The CDC has released guidelines on fall and winter holiday celebrations and tells us what we can do to help protect individuals, their families, friends and communities from COVID. This can be found at cdc.gov.

Masks continue to be available at public buildings around town. The library has masks in children’s and adult sizes, call 874-3535 for more info. The fire hall also has masks, and can be reached at 874-3223. Local businesses also carry a variety of masks.

The SEARHC COVID-19 hotline is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 907-966-8799. Community asymptomatic testing continues to be available every Saturday and Sunday at the SEARHC clinic parking lot from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Test results are still currently being received within three days or less. They have moved to an electronic system so bring your phone if you have one. Overall, 14.8% of the local population was tested over the last seven days.

The November 1 application deadline is approaching for the local business and household CARES Act grant funding. Go to www.wrangell.com for the application, and contact City Hall with any questions.

Lastly, I just want to thank the residents of Wrangell for doing what needs to be done to prevent the spread of COVID: for wearing your masks, for cleaning the same surfaces over and over, for postponing your travel at times, for staying home when you aren’t feeling well. And most of all for giving people the space and the grace to make the decisions that work for themselves and their family. Like Dr. Zink says, this is a marathon and we have no idea what mile of the race we are in, but we’ll get through it together.