Another Neighbor Gets COVID-19 In The Copper Valley

One New Case In Week Ending September 25th  In The Copper River Valley     Case Total Now 50  The Copper River Valley is part of the &qu...

One New Case In Week Ending September 25th 

In The Copper River Valley   

 Case Total Now 50


 The Copper River Valley is part of the "other" section of the Valdez-Cordova Census Area. Cases spiked in the valley after the 4th of July parade. (Photo, Country Journal)


An "active case" means someone who is still sick or still testing positive and is likely to be able to transmit the virus to others.


At Least 50 Of Our Neighbors Have Come Down With the Coronavirus. 


CRNA began working with Mount Sanford Tribal Consortium and Cross Road Medical Center a few months ago, trying to assess how many total cases there are here in the valley. The numbers have rapidly escalated, rising over 30-fold in a very short time – from a single case to dozens.

"Our intent is to update (the figures) weekly," said Paul Rude. "Our team is putting in very long hours and weekends. We've conducted over 1,000 tests. There are now more than 30 positive cases in the region."

News Of 37 Cases Elicited This Response On Facebook.





Until July 20th, the CRNA Facebook site had only listed the positive tests that CRNA itself had discovered. Monday, July 20th, CRNA banded together with Mount Sanford Tribal Consortium and Cross Road Medical Center to provide a consolidated view to the public of what they were finding.


Cross Road, Mount Sanford and CRNA are the three places in the region where Covid-19 testing is accessible. 

By July 20th, CRNA had, as an organization, listed 10 positive cases they had discovered. (At least one was apparently in Cantwell, which though an Ahtna village, is on the distant Parks Highway, linked to the Copper Valley by the Denali Highway.)
 
The revelation of what the three organizations found is disturbing. Coronavirus is definitely here in the valley, and its rapid rate of infection is unsettling. CRNA wrote that there had been 15 new positive cases discovered in only 7 days, from July 13th to 20th – and that there were an "estimated 26" cases in the region, with the expectation that "contact tracing" (where you go looking for people who have been in close contact with, and possibly infected by those who are known to be sick) will reveal even more. Only a day or so later, the total was up to 30 cases. Then, several days later, it jumped to 37. Finally on Friday, July 31st CRNA listed 39 cases. That is the same count the state shows after it added the six new cases on August 12th a week and a half later.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, July 22nd, at a Governor's press briefing, Scott Yahr of KCAM asked the Alaska coronavirus task force to clearly break out the numbers of cases in the Copper Valley, which are currently hidden in "Valdez-Cordova Census Area" figures.


Large crowds, lack of social distancing, and not wearing masks are all known triggers for spreading the coronavirus. With this in mind, many other Alaskan communities – having seen a surge following Memorial Day activities – chose to forego 4th of July events this year.



Anchorage Daily News Picks Up Story About Copper Valley's Surge In Cases

The Anchorage Daily News, as part of its COVID-19 coverage, published a story late Tuesday, July 21st about two rural communities. Fort Yukon and the Copper Valley
had kept COVID-19 at bay until last week. You can read the story here.




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