Listen to the update here.

Wrangell currently has one active case of COVID-19 in the community. The case was reported yesterday. As of today, the total case count for the state of Alaska is 17,860 cases. That’s an increase of 2,704 cases from last week. As of today, 455 people have required hospitalization. That includes 42 new hospitalizations over the last week. And as of today, 84 people have died — 10 of those in 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 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the SEARHC clinic parking lot. Test results are still currently being received within five days or less. Overall, 11.3% of the local population was tested over the last seven days.

The following information is from a status update that was sent out by the Department of Health and Social Services this morning:

  1. Virus transmission across Alaska accelerated for the fifth record week in a row, hospitalizations for COVID-19 are rising, and hospital capacity is a concern. Testing is not keeping up with new cases. Alaskans should get tested immediately at the first sign of any symptoms. Testing is our best tool for understanding virus transmission and risk in our communities. Most new infections among Alaskans are from community spread, not from travel. Most Alaskans get the virus from someone they work, socialize or go to school with. Alaskans should avoid indoor gatherings with non household members, wear masks went around non-household members, and stay six feet from anyone not in their household.
  2. Many Alaskans who are diagnosed with COVID-19 report that they went to social gatherings, community events, church services and other social venues while they were contagious, but before they knew they had the virus. Many cases do not have a clear source, meaning that contact tracers have not been able to identify where the person got the virus. This means that there are cases in many communities that we do not know about.
  3. Cases continue to increase fastest among Alaskans aged 20 to 39. However, the proportion of cases in older Alaskans increased slightly again this week. This follows patterns seen in other states of increases in viral transmission occurring in younger age groups first, then followed by increases in older age groups, after which typically an increase in hospitalizations and death is seen. An updated model epidemic curve predicts Alaska’s cases will continue to accelerate over the next week, and are expected to double again within the next two to three weeks or sooner.

Lastly, the City and Borough of Wrangell will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 5 2020. The meeting will be held via Zoom teleconference to discuss the merits and options of enacting on mask mandate. KSTKwill broadcast the meeting, and the meeting will also be on Facebook Live. If you would like to call into the meeting to speak under persons to be heard, please contact the borough clerk at 874-2381 or email no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 5 2020 so that your name can be added to the list.

Please continue to practice your personal protective measures. It is our daily choices that will help prevent this spread. Stay vigilant, stay safe, stay informed.