Capital City Fire/Rescue Firefighter paramedic Wendy Wallers holds a COVID-19 screening kit at the Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center on Monday, June 29, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire File)

Capital City Fire/Rescue Firefighter paramedic Wendy Wallers holds a COVID-19 screening kit at the Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center on Monday, June 29, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire File)

8 new COVID-19 cases confirmed for Juneau

State and local officials are working on contact tracing

Juneau has eight new confirmed COVID-19 cases, the city announced Friday, resulting from community spread at a seafood processing business.

All eight people are currently in isolation and their close contacts are quarantining, a news release from the City and Borough of Juneau said. Four of the people are Juneau residents and four are non residents, according to CBJ.

“This grouping of cases shows exactly why it’s important for Juneau citizens to be vigilant in their use of masks, social distancing, and hygiene. Community spread is a real thing, a threat to the community, a threat to our citizens, our businesses, and our health care system,” said City and Borough of Juneau City Manager Rorie Watt in the release.

The Alaska Division of Public Health in Juneau is conducting contact investigations and will notify and quarantine additional people as appropriate, according to the city. At this time, Public Health has identified very few close contacts within the community.

CBJ provided the following details:

• The person in the initial case started showing symptoms on July 4 and immediately quarantined at home. They tested for COVID-19 on July 6 and received a positive result on July 11. The state reported the positive result on July 14. Public Health Nursing in Juneau has determined this case to be a result of community spread.

• On July 8, the company began quarantining potential close contacts. On July 11, several employees who are part of the same work crew as the initial positive case started exhibiting symptoms, like body aches and fever. The company reached out to CBJ, and Capital City Fire/Rescue tested 17 employees on July 12. From that testing effort, eight came back with positive results Wednesday afternoon; all eight were symptomatic. Some of the people may be considered recovered as early as this weekend due to limited symptoms and the amount of time in isolation.

• As a safety caution, CCFR tested all remaining employees Wednesday evening, about 113. Only two of these employees exhibited symptoms and had been isolating; the rest have none. Public Health is working with Alaska Glacier Seafoods to provide appropriate guidance to employees. Results from Wednesday night’s tests are pending.

The state announced 39 new cases involving residents and 10 new cases involving nonresidents. Two new hospitalizations and no new deaths were reported.

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