Dillingham schools close after potential exposure to COVID-19 cases in the community

Feb 4, 2021

The seven cases in the City of Dillingham are travel-related. The school district's change to distance learning comes just two and a half weeks after students returned to in-person classes in mid-January. 

The lobby of Dillingham Middle/High School. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.
Credit Izzy Ross/KDLG

Fourteen people in the Dillingham area tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday. Seven of those cases are in the City of Dillingham, according to the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, which announced the cases Wednesday. It’s the first time the City has seen this many resident cases in one week. 

 

The seven people in the larger Dillingham area were experiencing symptoms when they tested positive and are now in isolation. 

The cases in the City of Dillingham are related to travel. 

 

Dillingham schools are closed starting today due to potential exposure to COVID-19. 

The district will immediately start to operate at the high-risk level. In an email, Superintendent Jason Johnson said the middle and high schools will resume distance learning Tuesday, and the elementary school will start on Wednesday at the latest. 

 

The state public health team is contact tracing.

 

The change to distance learning comes just two and a half weeks after students returned to in-person classes in mid-January. 

 

The health corporation is hosting a “mass testing event” for students and staff Sunday at the Dillingham High School Gym. The school district will update the community on its status after that.

Testing is organized by grade level: 

  • 10 a.m. - Kindergarteners through third graders

  • 11 a.m. - fourth and fifth graders

  • 12 p.m. - sixth - eighth graders

  • 1 p.m. - ninth - 12th graders

If families have students in multiple grades, all of them will be tested on arrival.

 

The state has reported 49 cases and one hospitalization in the Dillingham area within the last 30 days. The combined Bristol Bay and Lake and Peninsula boroughs had 15 cases, about the same as the previous month. 

BBAHC is also conducting vaccination clinics in communities around the region. In Dillingham you can sign up for the vaccination waitlist by calling the hospital at 907-842-9440. In other communities, you can sign up by calling your local health clinic. You will be contacted as additional vaccine doses become available.

Contact the author at isabelle@kdlg.org or brian@kdlg.org or call 907-842-2200.