July 20 Positive COVID-19 Cases In Sitka

July 21 – Sitka Unified Command received information from Public Health Officials on two positive test results for COVID-19 in Sitka on Monday, July 20.

Sitka’s positive test count is now at 17 resident cases and 11 non-resident cases. The State of Alaska is reporting 2,041 cumulative cases statewide. Data is provisional and may change.

The first confirmed case is a male non-resident, age 20-29, who is symptomatic and received COVID-19 testing on July 20.

The second confirmed case is a male resident, age 40-49, who is asymptomatic and received COVID-19 testing on July 14.

Both patients are isolating.  Public Health Officials have initiated contact investigations and will notify and isolate additional persons that may have been in contact with these individuals as appropriate.  

If you are sick with COVID-19, a Public Health Official will call you to check on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with and ask you to stay at home to self-isolate for 14 days. This information is collected for health purposes only and will not be shared with any other agencies, like law enforcement or immigration. Your name will not be revealed to those you came in contact with, unless you give permission. If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, a Public Health Official will call you to inform you that you’ve been exposed and ask you to stay at home and self-quarantine. Staying at home helps keep you, your family, and your community safe. Do your part to keep your family and your community safe from COVID-19: answer the call to slow the spread.

Sitka Unified Command urges citizens to adhere to all state mandates and to remain diligent and practice the health measures we’ve all learned in recent weeks and months: wash your hands often, avoid close contact with others and keep your social circle small, stay home if you feel ill, wear a face covering when around others, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces on a regular basis.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to the flu – fever, aching, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and sometimes decreased sense of taste and smell. If you are concerned you might have contracted the coronavirus contact the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 966.8799 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Outside of normal clinic hours, patients can contact the SEARHC 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1.800.613.0560 to be triaged by a registered nurse. 

Free COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic patients is available in Sitka every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the drive-up testing center next to Mountainside Family Clinic at 209 Moller Avenue, no appointment necessary. Testing is by self-swab nasal collection.  SEARHC staff will be available on-site to instruct and answer questions. For more information, contact the SEARHC COVID-19 Hotline at 966.8799.

Due to increased testing quantities and state delays in lab processing, test results should be anticipated within approximately seven (7) days.

Additional information on COVID-19 is available through the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) at  https://covid19.alaska.gov/ and SEARHC at www.covid19.searhc.org.

If you are not sick, please continue to take precautionary measures to stay healthy:

  • Get your flu shot. The flu shot will not prevent COVID-19 but will help prevent you from getting sick and reduce the workload on the healthcare system.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after your blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home, do not gather in groups and minimize your actions with others, stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings, and keep your social circle small.
  • Stay home if you feel ill, and always cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily (e.g. phones, tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).
  • Wear a face covering, in particular in public settings. For more information on cloth face coverings visit http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/coveryourface.aspx

Residents are encouraged to prepare for any local emergency by ensuring each family member has a 14- day emergency supply kit, including any necessary medications.

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