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 12,644 cases to date. That’s an increase of 1,461 cases from last week. Cases across the state to continue to rise and today marks the sixth day in a row that the daily case count is over 200. As of today, 375 people have required hospitalization. That includes 37 new hospitalizations over the last week. And as of today, 68 people have died. Four of those deaths have occurred during the last week. For more data, you can visit the COVID data hub.

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 five days or less. They have moved to an electronic system so bring your phone if you have one. There’s been a slight decrease in the number of people participating in free asymptomatic community testing. SEARHC would like you to know that testing supplies for the test are robust, and supply availability should not deter anyone from being tested. Overall, 14% 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. The city very much wants to disperse those funds to Wrangellites who need them.

Lastly, an update on changes to Mandate 10 which is the international, interstate, and intrastate travel mandate that went into effect on October 16. Alaska residents must test within 72 hours of departure back to Alaska. If you have your results by the time you arrive in Alaska, you must follow strict social distancing for five days after arrival. If you don’t have your results yet, you must self isolate until you receive those results.

You must follow strict social distancing until that five days is up. So if it takes two days for you to get your results, you’ll be self isolating for those two days, and then you’ll strict social distance for the next three days. A second test taken between five to 14 days after arrival is recommended but not required.

All travelers will receive a voucher that can be used for this free follow up test at airport testing sites. Residents also have the option to quarantine for 14 days instead of testing. Residents that travel outside of Alaska for less than 72 hours will no longer be required to test or quarantine, but they must monitor for any symptoms for 14 days after arrival. And also for Alaska residents, if you arrive and have not had a test prior to departure, you can get a free test at the airport upon arrival. Non-residents must arrive with proof of a negative test or proof of a test that was taken within 72 hours of departure. If you don’t, you’ll be required to pay $250 per test at the Wrangell Airport.

All non-resident travelers are also required to complete a self-isolation plan within the Alaska travel portal. This is a plan that will outline what you should do or what you’re going to do should your test results come back positive while you’re in Alaska. The 14-day quarantine is not an option for non-resident travelers.

According to the mandate, strict social distancing means you may be in an outdoor public place but must remain six feet away from anyone not in your immediate household. And you must wear a face covering you may arrange curbside shopping or have food delivered. You cannot enter restaurants, bars, gyms, community centers, sporting facilities, office buildings, and school or daycare facilities do not participate in any group activities, including sporting events and practices, weddings, funerals, or any other gathering.

All workers arriving in Alaska from outside the state as part of critical infrastructure workforce fall under their employers community workforce protective plan, which needs to be on file with the state. This plan must include testing and or quarantine provisions. If you have any questions, please email the local EEOC at travel@wrangell.com.