UPDATE: BBAHC confirms case is non-resident, not from community spread

Jul 2, 2020

Bristol Bay’s health corporation now says the case originally reported as a resident of Dillingham is a non-resident case. Local health officials are unclear on exactly how many active cases there are in the bay.

Credit CDC

Update July 2, 2020 3:30 p.m.

Bristol Bay’s health corporation has issued another release confirming that a case of COVID-19 it reported in Dillingham is not from community spread. Public Information Officer Jennifer De Winne said in an email accompanying the new release, “The main reason the release was issued was to keep people safe and especially if there were preliminary reports of community spread.” She added in the email, but not in the release, that the case was also confirmed to be a non-resident. The case had been reported earlier in the day by BBAHC as Dillingham’s first resident case.

Original article:

The Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation announced a positive resident case of COVID-19 in Dillingham today that it says may be from community spread. Officials have begun contact tracing to try to determine the source of the case. Community spread means a given case is not attributable to any known individual who tested positive for COVID-19. This would be Dillingham’s first case of community spread.

BBAHC also announced three asymptomatic cases associated with a cannery. The individuals have been in strict quarantine, and there are plans to fly them out of the region.

OBI Seafoods confirmed two of those three asymptomatic cases at their Wood River plant today. There are now a total of six positive cases that were close contacts of the 12 cases reported on June 22. 

BBAHC also reported four new non-resident cases in the Lake and Peninsula Borough today.

BBAHC says it does not know the total number of active cases currently in the Dillingham Census Area or in Lake & Peninsula Borough. Public Information Officer Jennifer De Winne told KDLG in an email that state case reporting has not lined up with the information BBAHC has received about cases in the region, making reporting total numbers difficult. De Winne added that while BBAHC initially reported active cases regionally, they are now unable to keep track of active versus recovered cases that are not BBAHC patients because there is no coherent inter-regional reporting system. De Winne says BBAHC is in communication with Camai Community Health Center in Naknek and their counterparts in the Bethel region, but that they still haven't clarified the full scope of active cases in the entire Bristol Bay region.

Elsewhere in the region, the Camai clinic announced on Wednesday that between Monday and Wednesday, they identified nine additional positive cases of COVID-19 in the Bristol Bay Borough. Those are all seafood workers, who have been in quarantine, and are now in isolation.

Some of those infected with COVID-19 are leaving the borough, which Camai clinic Director Mary Swain says brings the number of active cases physically in Bristol Bay Borough to 23.

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

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