Wrangell reports 2nd COVID case this week

Sitka has 100 active case

Borough officials late Friday afternoon reported Wrangell's second COVID-19 case since the Fourth of July celebration.

The individual is a Wrangell resident who had not recently traveled out of town, but is linked to the other case reported earlier this week.

"The individual is symptomatic and is isolating. No additional information is known at this time," the borough said in its prepared statement.

This week's two cases are the first confirmed COVID-19 infections reported in Wrangell since June 17.

The parks and recreation department on Friday said it was notified "of an individual who has tested positive for COVID and has recently frequented the pool facility." The announcement added, "Public health is currently reaching out to any close contacts to provide direction. If you are a close contact, you will be notified. Parks and Recreation has not been provided with any detailed information and is not able to answer questions about the matter."

As Wrangell counts its first cases in the past month, Sitka and several other communities around the state are reporting rising numbers of post-Fourth of July COVID-19 infections. Cordova reported there were 43 active cases in town as of Wednesday. Sitka is on high-alert status with more than 100 active cases as of Friday, with 60 new infections just this past week.

Sitka officials said the surge is driven by residents who refuse vaccination, "even in the face of the more dangerous delta variant of the virus that is spreading across Alaska."

The Sitka Emergency Operations Center has recommended a return to wearing face coverings in public places, regardless of vaccination status. The city of Sitka on Wednesday reinstated a masking requirement in municipal buildings, if six feet of social distance can not be maintained.


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