After Angoon had its first outbreak of the coronavirus confirmed Monday night, the mayor has ordered communitywide testing and mandated isolation for travelers.
“We had our first positive Monday night,” said Angoon Mayor Joshua Bowen in a phone interview. “After close contact testing, it turned into 8 positives and one presumptive positive.”
Pursuant to that, Bowen said, he’s put a health mandate in place ordering self-isolation for all travelers to the Admiralty Island community with a population of about 500, and quarantining for all those with positive tests or close contact with those who had positive tests.
“It’s finally here. We locked down pretty hard at the beginning of the pandemic. It was tough but we did it,” Bowen said. “I’m trying to get everyone locked down again because it’s here.”
Angoon had not had a confirmed case till Monday night, Bowen said. The cases are confined to a recent traveller and his close contact, according to the emergency order. Now, they’ll try and isolate any more cases in the town and cauterize the bloom.
“We’re trying to protect everyone and stop the spread of the virus,” Bowen said. “They’re doing testing for half the community today and half the community tomorrow.”
Testing is scheduled for the most vulnerable groups first, beginning with the elderly, according to the mandate. Masks are mandatory for all outside their homes, all those infected are ordered to quarantine until cleared by public health, and all travellers will self-isolate for no less than two weeks. Tests will go out as quickly as the weather permits the seaplanes, Bowen said.
“Everyone’s getting screened at the seaplane port,” Bowen said. “Everyone’s getting temperature checked and filling out a traveler form so we can keep track of them.”
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.