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NEWS AND RULES

April 10 update

CASE COUNT

City of Cordova COVID-19 Confirmed Positive Case Count: 0

TESTING IN CORDOVA

As of 4/10/20 there have been twelve COVID-19 tests conducted in Cordova, with zero positive results. There are currently two tests awaiting results. Local healthcare providers have the capability to test approximately 300 people in Cordova at this time. Antibody tests were considered for purchase by City Council and referred to the City Manager for further research, which yielded evidence that the tests may have been counterfeit and purchase was not advised. The Abbott ID NOW machine has arrived at Ilanka Community Health Center, and rapid testing for COVID-19 will be available starting Monday April 13, 2020.

Cordova Community Health Center and Ilanka Community Health Center will also continue to provide testing through Alaska State lab and Quest Lab. Your local healthcare provider will order testing. The type of testing you receive will be based upon the severity of your illness in accordance with the State of Alaska Department of Health and CDC guidelines. Please call your healthcare provider if you have any nausea, diarrhea and/or cold like symptoms that have not resolved in 3 days. Additional testing supplies have been requested.

CLARIFICATION ON OUTDOOR RECREATION DURING QUARANTINE

The City of Cordova’s IMT was recently alerted by the SEOC PIO to a clarification to State Mandate 10. Per that state-issued mandate, which supersedes all municipal mandates, individuals in 14-day quarantine (including those who have recently traveled) are NOT allowed to leave their homes for outdoor recreation such as hiking, biking, and hunting even if the minimum social distance is maintained. This means that if you are currently in a 14-day travel related quarantine, you are NOT allowed to leave your home to engage in outdoor recreation. You may be outdoors on your own property, but not beyond. You may only leave your designated quarantine location to receive critical medical care. The same exemptions that were already in place for critical infrastructure workers remain. They may travel to and from work and to obtain supplies and materials necessary for their critical infrastructure position, but otherwise must remain under quarantine at their designated quarantine location. This is not a new mandate, but rather a clarification to the existing mandate. All signage and materials are being updated by the City’s PIO team.

CLARIFICATION ON SMALL COMMUNITY TRAVEL EXEMPTION

During yesterday’s state press briefing, Commissioner Crum provided a more comprehensive definition of “hub hospital” to also include “critical access hospitals, sole community hospitals, and acute care hospitals”. According to Commissioner Crum, communities with one of those three types of hospitals are “those are the communities that we want to make sure there is still travel going in and out of.” Chief Medical Advisor Anne Zink also commented that “from a health perspective… do not believe there is a test-based strategy better than a 14-day quarantine if you’re moving from one community to another. and that would apply to a community like Cordova. That’s our best strategy to protect communities.” Governor Dunleavy also addressed that question saying that a detailed answer to this question would be provided in the state’s press briefing today.

USE OF CLOTH FACE COVERINGS RECOMMENDED

On Friday, April 2, 2020, the State of Alaska announced a strong recommendation regarding the use of cloth face coverings. Scientific evidence available to date indicates that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic shedding of the virus that causes COVID-19 is occurring. This heightens the need for community-wide implementation of control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among people who are not experiencing symptoms of illness. The primary ways to do this are through social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces. Another tool that may help to minimize transmission while people are around others outside of their household is the use of face coverings. Because we are experiencing a nationwide shortage of medical supplies, including facemasks, we recommend that Alaskans make their own face coverings and wear them in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) — especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. This follows closely recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diycloth-face-coverings.html.

The following measures are highly recommended for all Alaskans:

  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
  • Make sure the face covering covers both the nose and mouth.
  • Do not remove the face covering until you return home.
  • When removing the face covering, avoid touching the front of the face covering (because it may be contaminated). Remove it by grasping the ear loops, ties, or bands and immediately discard or place in a designated container for laundering.
  • Wash your hands immediately after removing the face covering and before touching anything else.
  • Wash face coverings in hot, soapy water between uses.
  • Do not wear N-95 or surgical masks; these are needed by health care workers and first responders.
  • Do not rely on face coverings as the primary way to prevent COVID-19 transmission and be careful to avoid developing a false sense of security through the use of face coverings. Continue to follow social distancing measures, including maintaining at least six feet between yourself and others, staying at home, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands frequently. For more information, view the entire State of Alaska Health Alert 10.

Cloth face coverings in Cordova:

  • Many individual volunteers have already begun producing home-made cloth face masks in Cordova that fit the guidelines above. If you are in need of a cloth face covering, an online sign-up form has been created to request a free cloth mask for your household members or employees at bit.ly/cdvmasksignup. On the form, you will be asked to indicate if your order includes anyone who is a worker of an “essential” business as listed in Alaska Mandate 10 or anyone who is considered high-risk. This fully volunteer effort is accepting donations of heavy-duty cotton or flannel fabric that is at least ½ yard in size. Please contact Emily Love at (503) 974-8197 if you are interested in donating to support this effort.

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM GROWTH

As this incident develops and planning progresses, the Cordova COVID-19 Incident Management Team and City of Cordova are exploring avenues and forming teams to expand their efforts.

  • Mike Hicks has decided to stay on as Police Chief for the City of Cordova beyond May 1st, likely through the summer, to assure stability and support on public safety and law enforcement in Cordova. In addition to his continued role as Police Chief, he also joins the Incident Management Team as Deputy Incident Commander. One of his first duties in this role has been reaching out to the State Public Safety Commissioner to review plans and guidelines for working on COVID-19 related enforcement in our community.
  • Dr. Hannah Sanders is expanding her IMT medical advisory team and has appointed Dr. Blackadar as a boots-on-the-ground deputy medical advisor in Cordova.
  • Several Task Forces are being formed under the Operations section of the IMT to focus efforts on securing ports of entry, sheltering, coordinating with first responders and public safety, and enhancing communication to all populations in Cordova. The IMT’s Commercial Fishing Task Force has begun meeting and is working to ensure clear ideas about how to manage Cordova’s harbor and fleet as they arrive. Industry Group meetings composed of local processors, CDFU, CRPWSMA and ADF&G have been facilitated regularly with the IMT for several weeks as well as regular meetings between the IMT and Essential Businesses. These meetings create open two-way communication between these entities and the IMT. They also offer access to medical oversight for these groups as they make plans to serve the community and fleet in the safest way possible, and ensure that mandates and guidance from City and State regarding COVID-19 are clearly communicated and understood. Meetings have also begun to facilitate cooperation between the City Incident Management Team and privately organized local groups.

Tents Needed! The City of Cordova Incident Management Team’s Shelter Task Force formally requests donation or loan of camping tents from the community. The Shelter Task Force will be using tents for isolating individuals without the means of self-quarantine in the Quarantine Shelter/Alternative Care Facility. Tents can be dropped off in front of Cordova High School 8 am. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday, along with an attached tag containing individual contact information if the tent is to be returned to the owner. Tents will only be used as needed, so as to avoid contamination. Tents without a tag will be deemed disposable. We thank you!

SMALL VESSEL & TENDER VESSEL PLANS

Members of the IMT’s Commercial Fishing Task Force along with fishermen and fisheries groups from around the state have been collaborating with Discovery Health MD to create sample onboard procedures for catcher boats and tenders that will prevent the transmission of coronavirus when the salmon season get underway in the coming months. Today, Discovery Health MD released a reference guide including a draft procedures manual, a draft checklist for captains, a number of handouts for crew education, and a notice from the State of Alaska on the use of cloth masks during air travel. More information and the full document can be viewed at amsea.org. More sample plans include large vessel information is available at https://ready.alaska.gov/Covid19-WorkerMitigationPlan.

Ordinance 1185 was passed by Council, putting forth enforcement measures to support Cordova Health Mandate 1 and Emergency Order 2020-2 along with any future orders associated with this emergency. According to this ordinance, failure to comply with an emergency mandate adopted under the City of Cordova’s state of emergency is punishable by a fine of up to $500. Upon citation under this section, court appearance is mandatory. It is expected that this ordinance will be brought forward again for public input and council discussion with proper notice to the public.

NATIVE VILLAGE OF EYAK/CITY COUNCIL JOINT WORK SESSION

Native Village of Eyak Tribal Council members joined City Council for a joint work session today to discuss integrating NVE leadership and staff into the current Cordova COVID-19 Incident Command Structure. City Council, IMT leadership and Tribal Council were all in strong concurrence that working together in every way possible will be a benefit to all involved. More discussion will continue between the two groups as they agreed to regularly weekly joint work sessions.

PLAYGROUND CLOSURE

Effective immediately, the City of Cordova Parks and Recreation Department has closed all City-owned public playgrounds including Mt Eccles Elementary School Playground. They are considered ‘high touch’ zones, are open 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and resources are not available keep all surfaces disinfected and ensure public safety.

ODIAK CAMPER PARK CLOSURE

Today, the IMT decided to close Odiak Camper Park for the season per its medical advisory team.

KEEPING CORDOVA INFORMED

  • New User-Friendly Cordova COVID-19 Website: The City of Cordova has enlisted the help of a web designer to create a new webpage for Cordova COVID-19 information with the goal of providing more information that is easier for the public to find to access. We hope to launch the new site very soon!
  • Translations: The Cordova IMT Public Information Team has begun efforts to translate all official posted signage and daily releases to both Spanish and Tagalog. The PIO team also plans to work with processors to ensure that translations of key information is available in all needed languages to keep their staff informed of COVID-19 mandates, guidelines and developments.
  • Radio Updates & FAQ: Members of the City of Cordova COVID-19 Incident Management Team are hosting regular COVID-19 Radio updates on KCDV-FM 100.9 and KLAM-AM 1450. The programs include frequently asked questions and answers; as well as pertinent local, state and federal updates on COVID19 status and planning. Tune in on the radio or listen to archived radio updates are at youtube.com/cordovatv.
  • Weekly News Briefings: The City of Cordova’s COVID-19 Incident Management Team will continue to host Press Briefings at 4 p.m. each Friday, streamed live and available in the archive afterward at youtube.com/c/cityofcordovaalaska.
  • Infographics: The City of Cordova’s COVID-19 Public Information Team has developing a series of topical infographics, which are graphic visual representations of information, data, and knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. These will be released to the public and targeted user groups as they are produced, and we invite the community to share them.

CITY FACILITY CLOSURES

  • NEW All public playgrounds in Cordova are closed, effective immediately.
  • Cordova School District
  • Cordova Public Library
  • Cordova Historical Museum & Gallery
  • Bidarki Recreation Center
  • Bob Korn Memorial Pool
  • DMV – available by appointment only 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Tuesday – Thursday until further notice. Only one person will be permitted in the DMV office at a time. Please call (907) 424-6125 to schedule your appointment.
  • City Hall – available by appointment only 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday starting Thursday March 19, 2020 until further notice. Utility payments may be dropped off in the drop box located near the exit of the upper parking lot. You may also contact the Finance Department regarding other matters at finance2@cityofcordova.net and finance3@citofcordova.net. Please call (907) 424-6200 to schedule your appointment.
  • Harbor – Beginning Friday, March 20, the Harbor office will be closed to walk-ins. Payments can be made by mail or by phone 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Appointments can be made to purchase shower tokens in bulk. Shipyard services are also by appointment. Starting March 20, 2020, the Harbor Department will not be accepting mail or packages. If you have mail or packages being delivered to the Harbor Office, please make other arrangements.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Please consult these resources for information:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – coronavirus.gov
  • State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) – coronavirus.alaska.gov
  • Dial 211 – The State of Alaska information line for non-clinical questions
  • City of Cordova – cityofcordova.net

The Incident Management Team, which collaborates with our medical professionals and emergency management teams around the state, feel that the curve has been flatter in Alaska and virus incidence has been fairly low because of the social distancing and other steps that the tribes, governments, businesses, organizations and individuals have put in place to protect themselves and their communities. We cannot emphasize enough how critical it is to continue these practices. Let’s do our part and practice the CDC guidance to keep Cordova free of COVID-19 for as long as possible. Please take every precaution to care for yourself and loved ones. Updates will be posted regularly on the Cordova Prepared page of the City of Cordova website and Facebook.com/groups/cordovaprepared. General local questions can be directed to cordovaprepared@yahoo.com.

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