Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Woman tests positive for COVID-19, first case reported since July


September 17, 2020

A Haines woman 50-59 years old tested positive for COVID-19 and is displaying symptoms, the borough’s Emergency Operations Center said Tuesday.

Public Health Nurse Elaine Hickey said contact tracing may not occur if an asymptomatic case is identified, but it will occur for cases when people are symptomatic. Hickey said contact tracing has been completed for the current case.

Tuesday’s case marks the first positive case since July, when an asymptomatic man in his 20s tested positive, precipitating the voluntary, temporary closure of several bars and restaurants in town where the man had spent time. The ensuing contact tracing prompted interim borough manager Alekka Fullerton to implement a mask requirement in borough offices.

The EOC said the borough is providing cloth masks to the community for free. People can pick up a package of five cloth masks at the borough administration building.

The case is Haines’ fifth resident case reported since the pandemic began in March. Three Excursion Inlet cannery workers also tested positive this summer.

Free COVID-19 testing at the Haines SEARHC clinic is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea and increased phlegm production.

Some asymptomatic carriers won’t show or feel symptoms, but can transmit the virus for up to 10 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and other health experts. Asymptomatic carriers are asked to quarantine for 10 days to prevent spreading the virus.


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