Wrangell currently has one active case of COVID-19 in the community. That case was determined to be community spread. As of today, the total case count for the State of Alaska is 33,797 cases. That’s an increase on 4,254 cases from last week. As of today, 753 people have required hospitalization. That includes 102 new hospitalizations over the last week. And as of today, 121 people have died. Seven of those deaths have occurred in the last week. For more information, you can visit the COVID-19 data hub here. For local case information and resources, you can visit wrangellcovid19.org.
Community spread continues throughout the state. The State of Alaska is encouraging Alaskans to work from home as possible, to limit the number of places you visit during the week, to wear a mask when in the presence of others outside of your household, even when you are six feet apart, to delay unnecessary travel, stay home if you are sick, and keep washing your hands.
While the number of people testing positive upon arrival into Alaska has quintupled over the last few weeks, the spread throughout the state is still being driven by gatherings and parties. Please continue to find creative and alternative ways of maintaining connections with family and friends. Teach your kids the lost art of letter-writing. Get together with your friends for an online game session. Each week we are getting closer to vaccines being available, the longer we can stay strong, the better the outcome for all Alaskans.
Masks continue to be available at public buildings around town. The library has masks and children’s and adult sizes, and can be reached by calling 874-3535. The Fire Hall has masks and can be reached at 874-3223. Local businesses are also carrying a variety of masks.
Community asymptomatic testing is available on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the SEARHC clinic parking lot. SEARHC will discontinue the free asymptomatic testing program consortium-wide on December 19, in response to the surge of positive cases within the state and the region.
The EOC continues to receive many calls about travel, and what to do when returning home from travel. This information applies to Alaska residents traveling back to Wrangell after being out of state:
If you’ve traveled out of state and are returning home, you have three options.
- You can test within 72 hours of returning home. You need to then do strict social distancing for five days upon arrival in Wrangell, or longer if you still haven’t received your results yet.
- If you don’t test before coming into Wrangell, you can test upon arrival at the airport and strict social distance for five days or until you receive your your results if that takes longer than five days. The minimum amount of time you could be strict social distancing is five days, and the longest could be until you get your results. Therefore it’s beneficial for multiple reasons that you test before you return to Wrangell.
- You can also choose to quarantine for 14 days instead of testing.
It is strongly recommended that you take a second test between five to 14 days after your initial test. You will get a voucher in your travel portal and you can return to the airport to take the second test for free. The second test helps ensure that you weren’t infected during travel.
For Alaska residents that are traveling within the State of Alaska:
If you’re traveling within Alaska from one community to another that is on the road system, and that includes communities connected via the Alaska Marine Highway System, you are not required to test or strict social distance. However, some road communities may have local requirements. It’s always a good idea to check with that community before traveling.
You do have an option to test at the at the Wrangell Airport when you return, and that is recommended since there is community spread happening in most areas of Alaska.
If you are traveling from a community on the road system to a community that is not on the road system, you must get tested within 72 hours prior to travel and you should not travel until you get your results. You should also get a second test five days after arrival. If you have questions about travel, please continue to send them to email@example.com.