Six new COVID-19 cases in the City of Dillingham likely due to community spread

Feb 6, 2021

The source of infection for the cases is unknown, and BBAHC says they “appear to be unrelated to earlier cases.” The Curyung Tribal Council, the City and the public health team urge residents to continue to follow safety precautions. 

Kanakanak Hospital in Dillingham. November 2020.
Credit Brian Venua/KDLG

There is likely community spread of COVID-19 in the City of Dillingham. Six people have tested positive, according to the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, which announced the cases on Friday

The source of infection is unknown, and the health corporation says they “appear to be unrelated to earlier cases.” The people who tested positive and their households have been advised to isolate, and the state public health team is working to identify their contacts. 

 

That brings this week’s case count to 13 — the most resident cases Dillingham has seen in one week.

Seven Dillingham residents tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, and people in the Dillingham schools were potentially exposed. The state’s public health team has completed contact tracing for those cases. Students, staff and families who are close contacts will receive information about where and when to test. 

 

That testing is separate from the mass testing event scheduled for Sunday. BBAHC said those results will be available by the middle of next week. 

 

In a joint letter Friday, the Curyung Tribal Council, the City, the public health center and the school district underscored the effect of the recent outbreak on the community. 

“The value of lost classroom time for our students, lost worktime, and the burden to citizens, is immeasurable,” they wrote. 

 

They said that the outbreak demonstrated how quickly the virus can spread in a community. The Senior Center closed due to the cases, and the library has switched back to curbside service. Additionally, they said that Sunday’s mass testing event will cost “thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of staff-time.”

 

They encouraged everyone to continue to follow safety precautions: wear masks, social distance, and get tested if you experience symptoms or suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19. 

 

If you have questions about COVID-19, call the Dillingham Public Health Center at 907-842-5981. With questions about Dillingham’s safety measures and travel restrictions, contact the City EOC office at 907-842-2321 or email eoc@dillinghamak.us

 

This article has been updated with additional information.

 

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