CASE COUNT: During the last 7 days, the State has reported 997 new cases, 22 hospitalizations and 1 death within Alaska. There has been a noticeable increase across the State in the number of children ages 19 and under who are getting infected with COVID. Wrangell currently has 10 active cases of COVID-19 in the community. That’s the most active cases we have had at one time since the beginning of the pandemic. Many of the active cases are symptomatic. The City and Borough of Wrangell will be issuing one press release a day as needed at 5pm informing the community of the number of new cases. If you are in quarantine and are in need of resources, please contact the Wrangell EOC at 874-2684. According to the State’s Alert Levels, the Northern SE Region (which includes Wrangell) is in the Intermediate Alert level trending toward the High level. You can visit the data hub at data.coronavirus.alaska.gov. For local case information & resources, you can visit wrangellcovid19.org.
LOCAL ORDINANCES: Wrangell has 2 local ordinances in place that require testing prior to or upon arrival in Wrangell. There is also a quarantine option instead of testing for Alaska residents only. The Borough Assembly adopted an updated version of the travel ordinances at the April 13th Assembly meeting. The updated ordinance states that fully-vaccinated individuals are not required to test before travel or after arriving into Wrangell. However, it is highly recommended that fully-vaccinated travelers who are planning on attending any gathering within 14 days after arriving where at-risk individuals may be in attendance, acquire a test at the Wrangell Airport upon arrival and quarantine until those results are received. Any incoming traveler can get a free COVID test upon arrival even when it is not required.
The ordinances can be viewed using the link on the City Facebook page, viewing them at www.wrangell.com or www.wrangellcovid19.org under Travel Resources. In order to be more efficient at the airport testing station SEARHC recommends that all travelers fill out the Travel Declaration in the online travel portal before arriving in Wrangell. The portal can be accessed at: https://www.alaska.covidsecureapp.com/
It is a Federal requirement that all travelers must wear a face covering at all transportation hubs and on all public transportation.
Any questions regarding travel can be submitted to email@example.com or by calling 874-COVI (874-2684).
VACCINE: All residents aged 16 years and older that are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine can register at covid19.searhc.org. Please provide a valid email when you register, and you will receive an email notification to schedule your appointment. If you have any questions or cannot register electronically, please call the Wrangell Medical Center at 874-7000 or call the SEARHC COVID Hotline at 907.966.8799.
Vaccination info was not available at the time of this update, but more than 50% of the eligible population in Wrangell has been vaccinated. With each vaccination, we’re getting closer to being able to put the pandemic behind us, but we’re not there yet. Please stay vigilant by following the recommended mitigation measures such as: wearing a mask, staying home when you are sick, delaying unnecessary travel, taking care of your health, keeping your social circle small, and washing your hands.
TESTING: Wrangell is experiencing community spread. It is important that any individual experiencing symptoms stay home and seek testing. The uncontrolled spread of COVID can have negative impacts on the well-being of residents and the local economy. If you have symptoms, it is important to seek testing as soon as possible. Symptoms can include: Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, New loss of taste or smell, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea, and Increased sputum (phlegm) production.
Symptoms may start 2-14 days after exposure. Although most people with COVID-19 will start out with only one or two of these symptoms — and the symptoms will generally be very mild — people tend to be the most contagious during the first several days after symptom onset.
Why get tested when you have symptoms instead of just staying home and waiting it out? One reason is that if you have COVID, Public Health can interview you to ensure that your close contacts go into a 10-day quarantine and are unable to spread the virus to others. This virus can spread quickly. Another benefit is should you need to take a COVID test in the future for your workplace, a medical appointment or travel, you could test positive for 3 months after you’ve been infected. That may result in you needing to be in quarantine at a later date, possible when you are headed on a family vacation. Once you test positive, you are exempt from testing for 90 days unless you become symptomatic. Both asymptomatic and symptomatic testing can be arranged by calling the Wrangell Medical Center M-F at 874-7000. Free asymptomatic testing is also available twice a day at the Wrangell airport during jet arrival. If you have been vaccinated, but are experiencing symptoms, it’s still important to get tested as the vaccines are not 100% effective.