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NEWS AND RULES

April 2 update

CASE COUNT

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

TESTING IN CORDOVA

As of 4/2/2020 there have been nine COVID-19 tests conducted in Cordova, with zero positive results. Between Cordova Community Medical Center and the Ilanka Community Health Center we have the capability to test 300 people in Cordova at this time. More tests have not been administered because individuals have not been sick enough to meet the CDC guidelines for testing. The amount of testing supplies, as well as the lab time to process tests, is limited within the community, state, and nation. We have requested more tests and are exploring every possible avenue to increase our testing ability in Cordova. We will update the public as soon as we learn of any changes regarding our ability to test.

The Incident Management Team, which collaborates with our medical professionals and emergency management teams in Cordova and 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.

A MESSAGE FROM CORDOVA’S MEDICAL RESPONSE TEAM

Once a person becomes infected with the COVID-19 virus, the usual time before symptoms develop has been shown to be 2-11 days (on average, 5.5 days) and within 14 days. We have learned from other states that the progression of the illness takes time. A person notices they develop one or more symptoms including: dry cough, fatigue, low grade fever and sometimes sore throat, body aches, nausea or diarrhea. These symptoms progress over a period of days. Most people (approximately 80%) that develop these mild symptoms will remain ill with mild to moderate symptoms not requiring hospitalization lasting for up to 2 weeks and then get better. Approximately 20% of those infected with the virus and having the initial symptoms may become sicker developing worsening symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath over a matter of days.

The best thing to do is to continue Social Distancing practices and wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, practice respiratory hygiene such as sneezing or coughing into tissue or elbow then immediately wash hands, and do not touch your face. If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from all others. With mild symptoms (fever, dry cough, fatigue) the best thing to do is to stay home away from others, rest, and drink plenty of fluids. If you feel that your symptoms are increasing, such as shortness of breath and you feel you need to come to the Emergency Department, please call ahead and notify staff that you are coming so they can be prepared to see you and meet your needs. If you are concerned or have any questions— call either: CCMC (907) 424-8000, CCMC Clinic (907) 424-8200, or Ilanka Clinic (907) 424-3622. Medical staff will gladly answer your questions and guide you in your care.

There is a lot of concern revolving around this virus. Again, the best practice is to continue with social distancing to decrease the chances of getting or giving this virus. The medical facilities are available, yet we need to keep from over burdening them so they can care for all the medical needs of this community. There may be some people that become critically ill. In those cases, we have competent staff, doctors and nurses that are well-trained and qualified to support these critically ill patients. They will provide the critical care necessary to manage the patients with breathing and all other functions until they can be safely transported (medivac) to Anchorage.

Testing is performed to determine a positive case for means of isolating the person. There are guidelines set by the CDC and Alaska State Health Department. These guidelines are based on criteria and symptoms as well as provider decision. Both healthcare facilities have testing available and it will be performed based on these CDC guidelines and individual patient health status. The Medical Response Team has been working with the state to prepare and manage our supplies and increase our abilities to effectively care for the community throughout this time.

KEY INFORMATION POINTS

  • The City cannot close the state airport: The Federal Government and State Government have made it clear that they will not allow this. However, we are working with our partners to screen and monitor those arriving to Cordova.
  • The City cannot close the 2020 fishing season: The State of Alaska has deemed commercial fishing an industry of critical need to the food chain of the United States and beyond. We do not have the authority to cut off food supply to our country any more than others have the authority to cut off food to Cordova. The City of Cordova IMT is in daily planning efforts with community partners and stakeholders that are in their own daily planning efforts to protect themselves and their workers. More information on that is below.

MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT FOR FISHERMEN

Per Cordova Emergency Order 2020-2, all individual vessels/operators that wish to enter Cordova’s harbor must sign a Mutual Aid Agreement which identifies the measures taken by the City as well as protections provided by the operator to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amidst the operator’s employees and customers and within the Cordova community at large. It also binds the undersigned to agree to follow State and City mandates and orders including 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival, and to take responsibility for their crew to do the same. These agreements will be available in their entirety on the City website by Friday, April 3rd.

COMMERCIAL FISHING TASK FORCE

There are still many questions surrounding how to adequately communicate rules, protocols, best practices and guidance to the broader fleet of commercial fishers who enter Cordova annually. For this reason and to increase open two-way communication between those within Cordova’s commercial fishing industry and the City on COVID-19 related issues, the City of Cordova’s Incident Management Team has established a Commercial Fishing Task Force comprised of fishing industry leaders from Cordova District Fishermen United, Copper River PWS Marketing Association, local processors, and Cordova citizens with knowledge and experience in the industry. This group will begin meeting regularly next week.

KEEPING CORDOVA INFORMED

  • Daily Radio Updates: Starting today, Mayor Clay Koplin and other members of the City of Cordova COVID-19 Incident Management Team will be hosting a daily COVID-19 Radio Update. The program can be heard on KCDV-FM 100.9 and KLAM-AM 1450 at 1pm, 5pm and 8pm, Monday-Friday. The short program will include frequently asked questions and answers; as well as pertinent local, state and federal updates on COVID-19 status and planning. Archived radio updates will be available at youtube.com/cordovatv.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: A special FAQ Session will be broadcast this Friday, April 3rd with questions and answers gathered from those sent to our cordovaprepared@yahoo.com email account. It will be aired at 5:00pm on KLAM/KCDV Radio and the City’s youtube channel (youtube.com/c/cityofcordovaalaska). Digital and print archives will also be available online.
  • Weekly News Briefings: The City of Cordova’s COVID-19 Incident Management Team will be continue to host live-streamed Press Briefings each Friday at 4:00pm, streamed live and available in the archive afterward at youtube.com/c/cityofcordovaalaska.
  • Infographics: The City of Cordova’s COVID-19 Public Information Team is 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 as they are produced and we invite the community to share them.

CITY FACILITY CLOSURES

  • Cordova School District
  • Cordova Public Library
  • Cordova Historical Museum & Gallery
  • Bidarki Recreation Center
  • Bob Korn Memorial Pool
  • DMV – available by appointment only between the normal hours of Tuesday through Thursday 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 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 between the normal hours of 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 INFORMATION

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

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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