Wrangell currently has zero active cases of COVID-19 in the community. As of today, the total case count for the state of Alaska is 41,859 cases. That’s an increase of 3,151 cases from last week. As of today, 903 people have required hospitalization. That includes 72 new hospitalizations over the last week. And as of today, 180 people have died; 18 of those deaths have occurred during the last week. For more data and information, you can visit the COVID-19 data hub here. For local case information and resources, you can visit wrangellcovid19.org.
SEARHC has confirmed the receipt of Pfizer’s first COVID-19 vaccine shipment today, with guidance from the Alaska Vaccine Advisory Council, SEARHC has implemented a sequential system based on risk to administer the vaccine. The vaccine will be given first to frontline health care workers, first responders, long term care residents and staff, followed by other health care workers and the public. You can find more information about the vaccine at COVIDvax.alaska.gov.
The last day of free community asymptomatic testing will be this Saturday, 19 December, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the SEARHC clinic parking lot. Beginning 20 December, COVID testing will e prioritized for those showing symptoms of COVID-19 or those who have been identified as a close contact with a positive case. This will ensure the continued availability of test supplies and quick turnaround times for results. Asymptomatic testing will remain available, but patients will be be required to cover their own testing fees at the time of testing. All patients must schedule an appointment to receive a test. This can be done Monday through Friday by calling the AICS clinic at 907-874-4700. For more information, visit covid19.searhc.org or call the SEARHC COVID-19 hotline at 907-966-8799.
The Department of Health and Social Services, the Alaska Regional Hospital, and the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association is hosting a statewide event called “Bring Back the Light 2020.” During this pandemic Alaskans have shown considerable strength to adapt and take care of themselves and each other. During bring “Bring Back the Light 2020,” Alaskans will come together to show support and gratitude for one another and our communities, take pride in our resiliency, and look forward to brighter days ahead. On Sunday, December 20, you can step outside with others in your household and light a candle or turn on lights, flashlights, headlamps, or lantern. Choose a place where you can be safe and comfortable together, but safely apart. Let’s bring back the light. Let’s celebrate the returning light and pending arrival of COVID-19 vaccines. Let’s express gratitude for our frontline workers, family, friends, teachers, local business owners, community neighbors and the beauty of Alaska. Let’s remember those who have lost their lives, their families and loved ones and everyone who has suffered losses during the pandemic. For ideas on how to create your own ice luminaries, or for more information, you can visit the City and Borough of Wrangell’s Facebook page.
And lastly, the Wrangell EOC is encouraging residents to continue to limit the number of places you visit during the week, to wear a mask when in the presence of others outside your household, even when you are six feet apart, to delay any unnecessary travel, stay home if you are sick, and keep washing your hands.