COVID-19 update from CBJ Emergency Operations Center
For the past seven days, Alaska Department of Health & Social Services reports 719 new individuals who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 in the Juneau community, which is by far the highest case activity to date. This number does not include people who’ve tested positive through a rapid self-test. There are currently eight people with COVID-19 hospitalized at Bartlett Regional Hospital. The hospital has been close to full for the past two days and staffing continues to be constrained due to staff being sick with COVID or quarantining.
DHSS also reported two additional deaths of Juneau residents due to COVID-19. A male Juneau resident in his 60s died in November and a female Juneau resident in her 80s died in December. CBJ extends condolences to family members and friends of these two individuals. There are now 20 total COVID-19 deaths associated with Juneau – 19 residents (three died out of state) and one nonresident (individual was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Juneau but death occurred outside Juneau).
The overall community risk level is currently at modified Level 3 High, and has been since January 3. At modified High, masking is required in all indoor public areas regardless of a person’s vaccination status, but all other CBJ COVID-19 Community Mitigation Strategies remain at Level 2 Moderate.
Wearing a well-fitted multi-layer mask is very important. Cloth masks continue to help decrease viral transmission, but higher filtration masks such as surgical masks, KN95, or N95 provide better protection. To minimize risks and maximize protection, especially if you are at risk of severe disease, consider increasing your protection by wearing a N95 or KN95 mask, or a surgical mask plus a well-fitting cloth mask. For more guidance, CDC has a guide to masks.
Testing remains an important tool to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. CBJ offers molecular testing at its drive-thru testing facility. Schedule an appointment online or call 907-586-6000. CBJ is also distributing free rapid antigen self-tests at the City Hall Cash Office, all Juneau Public Libraries, Juneau Public Health Center, and Juneau Police Department. Get tested immediately if you have COVID-19 symptoms; at least five days after a known or suspected exposure to COVID-19; or before indoor gatherings when you will be unmasked with people outside your household, especially if you or someone in your group is immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness.
Also, as a reminder: If you or your older kid needs a booster, go to Saturday’s (Jan. 22) walk-in vaccine and booster clinic at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The clinic will offer first and second Pfizer doses, as well as Pfizer boosters.