The Cordova Medical Response Team confirmed a positive COVID-19 case of an individual upon arrival in Cordova. The individual is currently in quarantine. Subsequently, 52 Alaska Marine Highway System employees were tested and all results are negative. Repeat tests of individual’s traveling partner also have negative results.
The medical response team is confident there was no engagement in the Cordova community by the infected individual, believes the exposure is contained and there is no further risk to the community, thanks to the definitive precautions and screening protocols in place.
The individual and travelling partner tested negative prior to boarding the MV Kennicott in Bellingham, Washington. The State Department of Transportation reports that during the travel to Whittier and then to Cordova, the individuals followed all Covid-19 protocol by self-isolating in a stateroom, wearing masks and social distancing; making contact tracing easy to follow.
Upon arrival in Cordova, the two passengers were tested again, and one received a positive result. The individual who tested positive will continue to isolate from the community until two consecutive negative results are achieved.
The Cordova Medical Response team offered kudos to the travelers for following safety protocols and keeping the Cordova community safe. “This is the way we will contain this elusive virus from our community by everyone doing the right thing.” remarked Dr. Hannah Sanders. “The risk to our community is low to none because these individuals followed all safety protocols and used an abundance of caution – both for themselves and in respect to the communities in which they traveled.”
The Alaska Marine Highway System has a thorough and aggressive testing protocol for all employees. AMHS mitigation protocols include:
- Face coverings required for all passengers and crews.
- Passenger capacity on each vessel has been reduced to 1/3 to promulgate social distancing.
- Social distancing emphasized.
- Passengers complete a health screening form before boarding. People who are sick or have recently had contact with an infected person will not be permitted to travel.
- The CDC’s COVID-19 prevention guidance to be posted on the AMHS website, at terminals, and aboard vessels.
- Modifications to food service spaces to ensure social distancing.
- Intensified cleaning of all areas, including routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
More information in AMHS COVID-19 protocols are available on the AMHS website.
Just as previous cases, the positive test result will not be listed on the state dashboard as a Cordova-Valdez census area positive. The individuals reside out of state and will be counted in the non-resident tally.
The Cordova medical response team encourages all individuals to keep safety precautions in mind throughout the summer.
- All travelers to Cordova (resident and non-resident) are encouraged to get tested upon return and isolate until a second test can be conducted within seven days.
- It takes two consecutive negative tests to end your quarantine.
- Stay self-isolated and use curbside deliveries until quarantine is complete.
- All individuals, regardless of whether travel occurred, are encouraged to wear a mask, wash hands, and get outdoors but stay socially distant.
This time has brought unprecedented change for everyone. It is important to remember to take personal responsibility for your own health. Eating healthy, exercising, managing chronic illness, and following Covid-19 guidance will help ensure a healthy outcome for you and your loved ones.