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NEWS AND RULES

April 7 update

CASE COUNT

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

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.

TESTING IN CORDOVA

As of 4/7/2020 there have been ten COVID-19 tests conducted in Cordova, with zero positive results. There are currently zero tests awaiting results. Local healthcare providers have the capability to test approximately 300 people in Cordova at this time. Additional testing supplies have been ordered. More tests have not been administered because individuals have not been sick enough to meet the CDC guidelines for testing.

RAPID TESTING MACHINE

ANTHC, the statewide organization that runs the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage and works with smaller tribal health organizations across the state, on Monday announced it had purchased 40 ID NOW COVID-19 rapid testing machines and 2,400 test kits for diagnosing the virus to rural Alaska communities. The machines, each with 48 test kits, would be provided to tribal health organizations for distribution among local communities, according to a statement by the tribal health consortium. ANTHC clinical directors met yesterday morning and agreed to the proposed distribution plan, which includes one machine for the Native Village of Eyak’s Ilanka Community Health Center. Distribution of the analyzers and test kits to the regions is expected to begin immediately.

Early and broad testing for COVID-19 has been shown to help isolate cases from becoming more widespread throughout a community. However, it is important to note that only a small number of tests are being sent with the machine, and test resupplies are controlled and distributed by federal and tribal governments. Doctors plan to continue following CDC guidelines for testing in Cordova at this time. Your Cordova Medical Response Team would like to reiterate that social distancing is still the number one method for containing the spread of COVID19. We will update the public as soon as we learn of any changes regarding our ability to test.

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. Charles Blackadar as a boots-on-the-ground medical advisor in Cordova. Along with other members of the IMT, Dr. Blackadar will be reviewing all processor and large operator plans to ensure they provide a safe work environment and proper protections for the community.
  • 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.

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.

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.
  • 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.
  • Daily Radio Updates: Starting last week, Mayor Clay Koplin and other members of the City of Cordova COVID-19 Incident Management Team began 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 every MondayFriday. 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 weekly with questions and answers gathered from those sent to our cordovaprepared@yahoo.com email account. It will be aired on KLAM/KCDV Radio and archived on youtube.com/cordovatv.
  • Weekly News Briefings: The City of Cordova’s COVID-19 Incident Management Team will continue to host 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 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 between the normal hours of 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 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 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 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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