Wrangell sees first COVID cases in town since May 6

In the first reported cases since May 6, borough officials announced two new COVID-19 infections June 2. Both were Wrangell residents, both initially showed no symptoms when they were tested, and one had recently traveled outside of Alaska.

Both were isolating after their test results came back positive, the borough reported.

The two cases bring to 62 the number reported in town since the pandemic started more than a year ago.

In Ketchikan, the COVID case count has decreased in recent weeks from a high of more than 100 active cases in mid-May to just 14 active cases late last week, with one hospitalized patient.

The rate of tests coming back positive in Ketchikan was down to 2.28% last Friday, a big improvement over the record 6.2% positivity test rate in mid-May.

Ketchikan has recorded more than 660 COVID-19 cases since testing started in the pandemic last year.

And just as the case count has dropped in Ketchikan, so too in Metlakatla, where cases spiked in May and two residents died from COVID-19 between May 25 and June 1, according to news media reports.

As of early May, Metlakatla had reported just 13 cases in the community of about 1,000 residents since the start of the pandemic. But then, between May 10 and June 1, the community counted an additional 29 cases, prompting officials to impose strict travel restrictions, a mask mandate and social-distancing rules.

With the reduction in cases this month, Metlakatla last Friday eased back on its community alert level, the Ketchikan Daily News reported. “We are no longer on lockdown,” the Metlakatla Indian Community said. “Continue to work together and follow personal safety precautions to help prevent the spread of the virus.”


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