State and federal health officials visit Kodiak, praise city preparedness

State and federal medical officials, including Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink and Senior Medical Officer with the Department of Homeland Security Alexander Eastman visited Kodiak on Wednesday. The group toured the Ocean Beauty and Trident Seafood processing plants and the city’s alternative care facilities, and met with members of Kodiak’s medical community.

Zink, who has been the face of COVID-19 prevention messaging for the state since the start of the pandemic, said it was encouraging to see the community working together on disease prevention.

“Between industry and the school and the EEOC, and just to see all those levels of people trying to figure out this problem together — it’s just been amazing to see it’s incredibly reassuring,” Zink said. “People in Kodiak know what works in Kodiak in a way the state won’t and the federal government won’t.”

Eastman says he’s traveled to care sites across the country, and while Kodiak has only seen one — now, recovered — case of COVID-19, he thinks the community is well-prepared.

“I’ve seen a lot of these over the country in the last eight weeks,” he said. “And it’s truly impressive that the city and borough have put so much time and effort into building a functional alternative care site. Obviously, we hope and pray that no one ever has to use one of these. But I think if we were forced to do that, if the virus forces us to do that, we are prepared and ready to go.”

Zink and Eastman continued on to Cordova Wednesday afternoon. We’ll have more from their visit on tomorrow’s newscasts.

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