Kodiak Coast Guard station reports first cases of COVID-19

The Coast Guard air station on Kodiak Island has reported its first two cases of COVID 19 on base.

Two staffers were notified of their exposure to the coronavirus on Monday and have been isolated.

Petty Officer First Class Ali Blackburn says contact tracing is underway to determine the source of infection and isolate others who may have been exposed to the virus.

Based on the investigation so far, she says the two cases do not appear to be travel-related.

“Both of our Coast Guard members did not recently deploy, so they did not travel off island,” Blackburn said.

The Kodiak Area Emergency Services Organization reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday morning. Elsa DeHart, a Kodiak public health nurse, confirmed these are the same two cases reported by the Coast Guard, bringing the total number of cases reported in the Kodiak area since April to 76.

In a news release, the emergency services group said one case was travel-related and the second person was a close contact of the first — different from what the Coast Guard reported.

DeHart says the information it received about the cases was preliminary.

“They have done the full investigation, so they know more at this point,” DeHart said.

The Coast Guard says only essential personnel are working on location.

“All other personnel are remaining at home at this time, while the spaces at the air station are being cleaned and disinfected,” Blackburn said.

Otherwise, Blackburn says, the Kodiak Air Station is completely operational.

She says the Coast Guard is taking every precaution to prevent the spread of the virus to the community of Kodiak and is following state and CDC guidelines.

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