Zink stresses maintaining precautions as fishing season ramps up

As restrictions to prevent spread of the coronavirus ease up around the world, reports of new clusters of COVID-19 are popping up as well. Kodiak’s case count remains at one, and that person has reportedly since recovered, but the potential for greater transmission still exists, according to city and state medical officials.

With the recent reopening of intra-state travel just as fishing season takes off, Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink says it’s important to maintain the same precautions as before.

“We know the fish don’t wait. They’re coming, regardless of whatever we do or don’t do, and regardless of COVID,” she said, noting that seasonal workers are bound to create mixing in the community. “Just like everything you’ve done for COVID, it’s the same idea. It’s a phased and layered approach. It’s making sure that we’re doing what we can to minimize the spread.”

She stressed the importance of frequent hand-washing, screening workers for symptoms, and allowing people who are sick to not work.

During a visit to Kodiak earlier this week, Zink said one of the most important ways to support the community during the pandemic is to be kind to one another

“I think just seeing Kodiak come together, the more that we can come together to mitigate this disease. Masks are no fun to wear, but they’re a good way to keep those micro-droplets and droplets from spreading, and what ways we can then have social interaction and have restaurants and have school and all of these other things that make up part of our life.”

Zink said while the pandemic continues it’s normal to feel scared or overwhelmed, but the best way to handle the fear is to be prepared.

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