Wrangell adds two more COVID cases on Saturday

The borough Saturday afternoon reported a new COVID-19 case in the community, followed by a second case reported Saturday evening, raising to nine the number of known infections in the past three days.

The afternoon case is a Wrangell resident and "close contact to a previously identified positive case," the borough said in a statement released at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. "This individual is symptomatic and is isolating." Then, at 7:30 p.m., the borough reported another resident had tested positive for COVID and was isolating. Saturday's second case was symptomatic, with "no known history of recent travel."

On Friday, the borough reported five new COVID-19 cases, following the two cases identified on Thursday. All are Wrangell residents.

This week's cases are the first in the community since Sept. 9 and raise the total so far this month to 14.

Saturday's two cases bring to 141 the total number of infections reported among Wrangell residents and out-of-town visitors to the community over the past 18 months of the pandemic. The worst month for Wrangell was August, with 48 reported cases.

Statewide, Alaska is suffering its worst outbreak since the pandemic started.

State health officials reported almost 1,800 new COVID cases on Friday, far surpassing the record for a single day and totaling more than 4,000 over the past three days. Hospitalizations were up again, reaching a new record at 217 COVID patients. The death toll had climbed to 514 as of noon Friday.

The state has recorded almost 108,000 cases since March 2020. Though Alaska was among the leading states nationwide for vaccination rates at the start of the pandemic, Alaska is now in the bottom third of the states at less than 63% of eligible Alaskans with at least one dose of a vaccine. Wrangell is at 66%.


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